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American 3D-printed gun maker, rape suspect Cody Wilson last seen in Taipei's Mandarin Oriental Hotel

American 3D-printed gun activist wanted for sexual assault Cody Wilson last seen in Taipei's Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Cody Wilson.

Cody Wilson. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The notorious American 3D-printed gun maker, Cody Wilson, who yesterday was charged for sexual assault, was last seen at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Taipei.

After news broke today that the 30-year-old 3D-printed gun activist Cody Wilson is wanted in Austin, Texas for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, Apple Daily reports that he was last spotted at the luxury Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Taipei's Songshan District. Wilson was confirmed by the National Immigration Agency (NIA) of having first arrived in Taiwan on Sept. 6.

Wilson checked out of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Sept. 7 and this morning NIA officers went to the hotel to gather information and confirmed that he is no longer there, according to the report. Wilson's current whereabouts are unknown and police and NIA officers are continuing to trace his movements.

The NIA said that if Wilson was seen to be attempting to leave Taiwan, he would be stopped. The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said that because Wilson has not committed a crime in Taiwan, he cannot be arrested, however if he is found, he can be deported back to the U.S. in accordance with immigration law.

American 3D-printed gun maker, rape suspect Cody Wilson last seen in Taipei's Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Cody Wilson. (Associated Press image)

Wilson, was charged yesterday by an Austin, Texas court for the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl who he met online, according to court affidavit released by KUVE TV Austin reporter Tony Plohetski. Austin Police say that Wilson's last known whereabouts were Taipei, Taiwan and he has skipped his flight back to the U.S., after apparently being tipped off about being investigated for the sexual assault case.

Austin Police Department (APD) Commander Troy Officer told the media, "We know Mr. Wilson frequently travels for business. We don't know why he went to Taiwan, but we do know that he was informed that he was being investigated."

According to the court affidavit, released in full by Ars Technica, Wilson started communicating with a 16-year-old girl on the website while using the screen name "Sanjuro." They then exchanged phone numbers and began communicating through Apple iMessage, and during the conversation Wilson used his actual name of "Cody Wilson" and described himself as a "big deal."

Not knowing who he was, the victim searched his name on the internet and discovered a great deal of publicity covering his legal battles over 3D-printed guns. During their correspondence, Wilson allegedly sent images of his penis and she stated that she sent a picture of herself naked.

The two arranged to meet in the parking lot of a coffee shop on Aug. 15 in Austin and the two left in a Black Ford Edge registered to Wilson. The two then went to the Archer Hotel and once inside they allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse and oral sex in the hotel room's bed.

The victim said that Wilson then paid her US$500 dollars, before taking her to a Whataburger restaurant. The victim eventually told her counselor about the incident, who then reported it to the APD.

American 3D-printed gun maker, rape suspect Cody Wilson last seen in Taipei's Mandarin Oriental Hotel
One of Wilson's 3D-printed guns he calls the Liberator. (Associated Press image)

Police found extensive evidence from the victim's phone and surveillance footage that corroborated all of the major details of her testimony. On Sept. 19, Wilson was officially charged with violating Texas Penal Code, Sec. 22.011(a)(2)(A) sexual assault, which is a second degree felony.

Unlike the state of Texas, where sex with a person under the age of 17 is automatically classified as statutory rape, the age of consent in Taiwan is 16.

Taiwan and the U.S. do not have an extradition treaty, but they do have a mutual legal assistance agreement (MLA). The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) told Taiwan News that they are currently investigating the case.

Cody has gained notoriety for his legal battles with the U.S. State Department over his releasing of free blueprints online for 3D-printed guns, which can pass unnoticed through metal detectors. Cody also created the controversial crowd funding site Hatreon, which has drawn neo-Nazis and is described by Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project as "very important to the financial functioning of the white supremacist movement."

In August, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction barring him from distributing schematics for 3D-printed guns for free online. However, Wilson exploited a legal loophole by selling the blueprints through his website.

If convicted of sexual assault, Wilson could face up to US$10,000 in fines and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

U.S. Marshals released the following wanted poster for Wilson's capture:

American 3D-printed gun maker, rape suspect Cody Wilson last seen in Taipei's Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Wilson has yet to respond to a request from Taiwan News to comment on the sexual assault charges.

Updated : 2021-09-22 14:52 GMT+08:00