American 3-D gun maker accused of sex with minor flees to Taiwan

World | 20 Sep 2018 11:48 am

A Texas man at the center of a legal battle over his plan to make instructions available for 3-D printed plastic guns flew to Taiwan after learning police in

Austin were investigating an accusation he had sex with an underage girl, police said on Wednesday.

Cody Wilson, 30, was placed under investigation after a counselor on August 22 told police that a 16-year-old girl had said she was paid US$500 to have sex with Wilson at an Austin hotel, Austin Police Commander Troy Officer said at a news conference, Reuters reports.

Police later interviewed the girl and on Wednesday obtained a warrant for Wilson's arrest, but by then he had caught a flight to Taiwan, Officer said.

"We know Mr. Wilson frequently travels for business. We don't know why he went to Taiwan," Officer said. "But we do know before he left he was informed by a friend of the victim that she had spoken to police and the police were investigating him for having sex with a minor."

Taiwan does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

The island's Criminal Investigation Bureau told Reuters today it did not receive any request on the matter from the United States and it is not immediately clear whether Wilson was in Taiwan.

Wilson founded the group Defense Distributed, which has been selling 3-D firearm-design files on flash drives via regular mail after a U.S. federal judge barred the group from posting the blueprints online.

A lawyer for Wilson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In an August 27 interview with police, the teenager said she had exchanged messages with a man using the screen name "Sanjuro" on, according to a police

affidavit. The girl said "Sanjuro" later revealed his real name, described himself as a "big deal" and exchanged nude photos with her.

The girl said she and Wilson had sex at a local hotel on August 15, according to the document. Her statement was corroborated with security video footage and records showing Wilson registered as a guest at the hotel that night, police said.

Wilson sparked a legal battle in 2015 after he challenged a government ban on posting the blueprints for printing 3-D guns to the internet, claiming it infringed on his rights to free speech and to bear arms.

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