stands accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old.ody Wilson — whose legal advocacy of 3D-printable, untraceable firearms made him a household name in the American gun control debate this summer — was arrested in Taipei on Friday and deported to Texas, where he
Taiwanese authorities apprehended Wilson at a hotel where he was staying in Taipei’s Wanhua district on Friday evening, the Taiwanese state-owned Central News Agency reported.
Texas police were unable to verify Wilson’s whereabouts after a warrant was issued for his arrest last Wednesday. His last known location was Taipei, where he had failed to board an earlier return flight to the U.S.
Troy Officer, commander of the Austin Police Department, said that a friend of the teenage girl had tipped Wilson off to the investigation before he left for Taiwan.
The 16-year-old accuser said in an affidavit that she and Wilson, 30, first connected onSugarDaddyMeet.com, a dating website that “caters to wealthy male sugar daddies and attractive female sugar babies.” Wilson allegedly used the alias “Sanjuro,” an apparent reference to the eponymous protagonist of an old Kurosawa samurai film.
The girl claims that in their ensuing text exchange Wilson referred to himself as a “big deal.” By her account, they later met up in the parking lot of an Austin coffee shop and drove to a hotel together, where they had sex. He then paid her $500 and dropped her off at a Whataburger.
According to Commander Officer (who surely suffered through an onslaught of Officer Officer jokes early in his career), surveillance footage reviewed by Austin police corroborates many of the affidavit’s details, and the officers who interviewed the alleged victim described her as clearly below the age of consent (which in Texas is 17), likely, if anything, to be mistaken for younger than her actual age.
Taiwanese authorities were able to locate Wilson after a real estate agent identified him in local news coverage and told police that he had just signed a housing contract and made a deposit on a sixth month lease.
Because Wilson had not yet been charged when he left for Taiwan, he is not considered liable for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Taiwanese authorities deported Wilson and transferred him back into U.S. custody over the weekend. Local media photographed him at the airport in Taipei wearing a surgical mask, sunglasses, and a hoodie.
He posted $150,000 bond in Houston on Monday and now presumably awaits trial. If convicted, Wilson faces a sentence of up to 20 years prison time and a potential lifetime ban on firearm ownership.
Wilson’s gun rights advocacy group, Defense Distributed, remains engaged in a pending lawsuit with 19 state governments and the District of Columbia to upload the blueprints for its 3D-printed guns to the internet. A federal judge has prohibited the distribution of those designs until the suit is resolved. Wilson has threatened to sell thumb drives loaded with the files through the mail in response.
[Images via CNA]