The Austin man known as an advocate for 3-D printed guns appeared in a Houston court early Sunday after he extradited from Taiwan to face sexual assault charges in Texas.
Cody Wilson was arrested at a restaurant in Taipei City late Friday, according to Taiwanese media.The 30-year-old is now being held in the Harris County jail on $150,000 bail, pending transfer to Travis County for prosecution.
The so-called “crypto-anarchist” and owner of Defense Distributed was wanted for sexual assault of a child after he allegedly exchanged naked pictures with a 16-year-old he met on SugarDaddyMeet.com, then took her to an Austin hotel and paid her $500 for sex.
Afterward, he dropped her off at a Whataburger.
The girl told a counselor at the Center for Child Protection in August about the alleged assault, and the counselor reported it to police. But one of the victim’s friends apparently tipped off Wilson, who boarded a flight to Taiwan and skipped out on the return ticket.
Wilson catapulted into the national spotlight in 2013 when he made the first fully 3D-printed gun, and posted the blueprints online, downloadable freely. The guns have no serial numbers, can’t be spotted by some metal detectors and are designed for do-it-yourselfers to make at home.
But the U.S. State Department shut him down, and Wilson fired back with a First Amendment lawsuit.
Nineteen attorneys general then jumped in and filed suit to stop Wilson from freely posting the plans, and a federal judge ultimately barred Wilson from doing so. He later announced he would still sell the controversial plans directly to anyone who wanted order them.
“Anyone who wants these files is going to get them,” Wilson said at a news conference in Austin over the summer. “That will never be interrupted. The free exchange of these ideas will never be interrupted.”
It’s not immediately clear when Wilson might be transferred to Travis County. If convicted, he could face 20 years in prison and would be unable to own a gun legally.