In one of the more bizarre true-crime stories we’ve heard recently, Cody Wilson, the founder of firearm company Defense Distributed, has been charged with paying a 16-year-old girl for sex, according to Bloomberg. In response to the charges, Wilson has gone on the run in Taiwan. Police believe a friend of the victim called Wilson and tipped him off to the impending charges, prompting him to miss his return flight to the US. Meanwhile, a judge in Travis County Texas has issued a warrant for Wilson’s arrest.
Wilson, who has called himself a “crypto-anarchist,” was accused of sexually assaulting the unidentified girl after paying her $500 for sex at an area hotel. Police said Wilson met the girl on “SugarDaddyMeet.com” where he bragged to her about his company’s high profile.
As Bloomberg reminds us, Defense Distributed clashed with blue-leaning states over its plan to publish gun blueprints online. The Austin-based company provides templates of various firearms on its website, which users can download and produce at home with 3-D printers.
What’s worse (for Wilson’s reputation, at least), police who interviewed the victim said she looks younger than 16.
Surveillance video from Aug. 15 shows the pair at a coffee shop and later at a hotel. The victim told authorities about the incident. Police said it wasn’t clear if Wilson knew the girl’s age, but that authorities who interviewed her believe she looks younger than 16, not older.
Since news of the charges broke, Wilson has been uninvited from a Second Amendment conference set for this weekend, per Bloomberg.
After the charges became public on Wednesday, organizers of a Second Amendment conference set for the coming weekend said Wilson wouldn’t be speaking at the event. He had been scheduled on Sept. 22 to discuss the impact of 3-D printing on the future of gun control at the 33rd annual gun rights policy conference in Chicago.
Sex with a minor is a second-degree felony in Texas. If found guilty, Wilson will be barred from owning a firearm under federal and state law. That could certainly create some complications for his business.