Cody Wilson made headlines with a blueprint for 3D-printable guns, now he's been detained by Taiwanese authorities after fleeing from a sexual assault charge

  • Cody Wilson, known most prominently for touting his blueprints for 3D-printable guns, has been arrested by police Taiwan on a US arrest warrant charging him with sexually assaulting a minor.
  • Wilson, who lives in Austin, Texas, travelled 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 his gun blueprints online.

Cody Wilson, known most prominently for touting his blueprints for 3D-printable guns, has been officially detained by police in Taiwan after authorities in Austin, Texas 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 $US500 to have sex with him in July, a crime which constitutes second-degree sexual assault of a minor 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 HuffPost.

Wilson and his company, Defence 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 Defence 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 Defence 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 $US10 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.

Taiwanese police reportedly tracked down Wilson at his hotel and took him into custody. While the United States has no formal extradition treaty with Taiwan, the two nations have reportedly cooperated on at least 70 intra-country legal matters that require extradition.

Authorities plan to cancel his passport to enable his deportation back to the US, Taiwan News reported.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.