The self-described “crypto-anarchist” at the center of the national debate over 3D-printed guns was charged with sexual assault on Wednesday.
According to charging documents, Cody Wilson, 30, paid a girl under 17 years old $500 for sex at a hotel room in Austin, Texas, in August. Sexual assault of a minor is a second-degree felony in Texas.
Austin police say they were alerted by a counselor who had been working with the victim. Detectives with Austin’s Child Abuse division then scheduled an interview at the forensic division of the Center for Child Protection.
Wilson allegedly met the victim on SugarDaddyMeet, a dating platform that matches older men with younger women.
Wilson did not respond to a VICE News request for comment.
Wilson and his company Defense Distributed is currently embroiled in a legal battle over his decision to publish blueprints for 3D-printed guns online.
A settlement between Wilson and the Department of Justice cleared the way for Wilson to publish the blueprints, but that was challenged by a multi-state lawsuit that’s now pending in a federal court in Seattle.
Meanwhile, Wilson has filed a countersuit in Austin against state lawmakers, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Pennsylvania Gov. Thomas Wolf for their efforts to block him from publishing blueprints for 3D-printed guns in their states.
In addition to his 3D gun activism, Wilson also founded “Hatreon” in 2017, an alternative crowdfunding site catering to individuals and groups shut out of mainstream fundraising platforms, like white nationalists and neo-Nazis.
If convicted on sexual assault charges, Wilson could face up to 20 years in prison.
Cover: Cody Wilson, owner of Defense Distributed company, holds a 3D printed gun, called the 'Liberator', in his factory in Austin, Texas on August 1, 2018. (Photo by Kelly WEST / AFP / Getty Images)