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World & Nation

3-D-printed gun crusader Cody Wilson arrested in Taiwan on sexual assault charge

Federal judge rules against Trump administration on 3-D gun blueprint case
Cody Wilson, shown in 2013 with a 3-D-printed gun, is suspected of having sex with a 16-year-old in Taiwan. He was arrested at a Taipei hotel after the U.S. government voided his passport.
(Jay Janner / TNS)

Taiwanese authorities have arrested and jailed the owner of a Texas company that sells blueprints for untraceable 3-D-printed guns, who is suspected of having sex with a minor, an immigration agency spokesman said.

The Taiwan National Immigration Agency said Cody Wilson was arrested Friday at a Taipei hotel after the U.S. government voided his passport.

Taiwanese immigration officials now are negotiating with the de facto American embassy in Taipei on how to proceed on deporting Wilson to the United States, a spokesman for the agency said.

Because Wilson’s passport is now invalid, he has no legal basis to stay in Taiwan under local laws, the agency said in a statement.

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Washington and Taipei do not have an extradition treaty that would facilitate a deportation, but the two governments do cooperate on security issues, and U.S. relations with Taiwan have improved under President Trump.

“Our agency will coordinate with the American Institute in Taiwan (de facto embassy) to arrange for the travel documents to be issued as soon as possible and arrange for his return to his country as soon as possible in an appropriate manner,” the Taiwanese agency statement said.

Authorities suspect that Wilson began talking to the 16-year-old girl on sugardaddymeets.com, which says that it requires users to be at least 18. The pair began exchanging messages before texting, according to the arrest affidavit.

At first, the victim did not know who Wilson was or how he had stirred a national debate over gun rights. She became curious and started researching online after Wilson told her he was a “big deal,” the affidavit said.

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In the affidavit, Shaun Donovan, an Austin, Texas, police officer, said Wilson met the victim around 8 p.m. on Aug. 15 at a coffee shop and then drove to a hotel, where they had sex.

Surveillance video shows the pair stepping from an elevator on the seventh floor of the Archer Hotel and entering a room around 8:37 p.m., according to the affidavit.

Shortly after entering the room, Wilson had sex with the victim and then paid her $500 in cash, the affidavit said. They left the hotel together about 45 minutes later.

It’s unclear why Wilson, who travels frequently for work, came to Taiwan.

Police began investigating Wilson on Aug. 22 when the victim’s counselor tipped them off about the alleged sexual assault.

Investigators said Wilson left the country shortly after a friend informed him that the victim had spoken to police.

Wilson faces a potential 20-year prison sentence if convicted.


UPDATES:

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2:32 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details from the arrest warrant.

This article was originally published at 9:35 a.m.


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