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3D gun blueprint inventor Cody Wilson fled to Taiwan after sexual assault arrest

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Cody Wilson
Cody
Wilson, the original pioneer of blueprints for 3D printable guns,
has fled to Taiwan while facing sexual assault
charges.

Kelly
West/Reuters


  • Cody Wilson, known most prominently for touting his
    blueprints for 3D-printable guns, has been formally accused of
    sexually assaulting a minor.
  • Wilson, who lives in Austin, Texas, traveled to Taiwan
    and missed a scheduled flight home after law-enforcement
    officials charged him with paying a 16-year old girl he met
    online for sex.
  • Earlier this year, the US State Department dropped a
    complaint that previously blocked Wilson from publishing the
    his gun blueprints online. 

Cody Wilson, known most prominently for touting his blueprints
for 3D=printable guns, has been formally accused of sexually
assaulting a minor, and authorities issued a warrant for his
arrest on sexual assault charges.

Wilson, 30, was charged with paying a 16-year old girl he
allegedly met on an adult-dating website $500 to have sex with
him in July, a crime which constitutes second-degree sexual
assault of a minor and could carry a 20-year prison sentence. and
is punishable by up to 20 years in
prison. 

But before police in Austin, Texas could arrest him, they say he
had already fled to Taiwan after a friend of the victim tipped
him off that police planned on charging him several days prior.
He also missed a scheduled flight back to the US to appear at a gun conference this
weekend
, according to the Huffington Post. 

Wilson and his company, Defense Distributed, had been in conflict with the US
State Department for years
over the legality of his
blueprints for 3D-printable weapons, which can be accessed from
anywhere in the world and are virtually untraceable.

In June, the State Department dropped an Obama-era federal
complaint against Defense Distributed, which previously prevented
them from publishing the blueprints on the grounds that the
blueprints posed a national security threat by violating laws on
foreign exports of weapons technology. 

President Donald Trump responded to the government
settling with Wilson
by stating, “I am looking into 3-D
Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA,
doesn’t seem to make much sense!” 

Trump’s statement created some confusion, as his own State
Department allowed Defense Distributed to proceed with publishing
the blueprints. 

While a federal judge stepped in at the
last minute
to try and prevent Wilson from publishing the
blueprints, the ruling only blocked Wilson from putting them
online for free, not selling them. Wilson’s website now sells
them for $10 a piece, and other vendors have selling their own
versions, too.

The genie of 3D-printed weapons has effectively been let
out of the bottle, leaving regulators to navigate the complicated
First Amendment and arms control issues surrounding them.

It’s less clear what will happen to Wilson as he goes on
the run to avoid facing serious criminal charges. The United States has no
extradition treaty with Taiwan
, meaning authorities have no
process to compel him to return to the United States so long as
he stays there. 

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