back to article Renegade 3D-printing gunsmith Cody Wilson on the run in Taipei from child sex allegations

Cody Wilson, notorious for publishing 3D-printed gun designs online, is believed to be holed up in Taiwan after US cops suspected him of sexually assaulting an underage teenager. According to police, Wilson, 30, may have fled to Taipei after he was tipped off that officers were investigating claims he paid a 16-year-old girl $ …

  1. Andy Mac

    Does Ecuador even have an embassy in Taipei?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't. His best bet would be to try and hole up in an embassy of one of the few countries that still recognizes Taiwan as the legitimate government of all China.

      The Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See (Vatican City) might take him in, though one might expect them to want him to confess his sins first, and the trouble with these alt-polycell types is they never seem to understand they've done anything wrong.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
        Devil

        And of course, based on previous experience, the Vatican will be terribly sympathetic (to remove a little of uoit subtlety :-)

        an appropriate icon ---------------------------------------->

  2. ratfox Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Conspiracy theories coming in 3... 2... 1...

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Well... it IS weird that people wanted by the USA always seem to get charged with sexual assault...

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Give me six lines....

        "it IS weird that people wanted by the USA always seem to get charged with sexual assault"

        I think it's more a case that if the feds want someone, they will trawl through everything they've ever done and it's generally unlikely that you're getting that sort of heat and you're entire previous life was clean.

        If you look at Brits being extradited to the US they almost always aren't accused of sex crimes, or have any need of slapping those on top of the existing charges.

        In this specific case, it's not a historic crime (happened last month), there appears to be no question of consent (underage), there appears to be quite a lot of evidence they've already revealed (hotel cameras, site profile) and pretty much the only defense is "it didn't happen guv".

        Even admitting paying for sex with a woman you totally believed to be 17 is still going to get you done for something.

        If you're planning on pissing of the USA (or any world power really) then make sure your skeletons are well buried :)

      2. phuzz Silver badge
        IT Angle

        Puritans vs sex

        But the USA has such weird taboos around sex, it's not surprising that they all seem to have such weird kinks. (For example.)

        Of course, for the conspiracy minded, this would mean that 'they' can always guarantee they'll find some sexual weirdness if 'they' ever need to smear someone. Or what would be perfectly normal behaviour in another country (eg, being gay), can be used as a slur in the US.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have to say that it was my first thought - awfully convenient that, since it appears they cannot get him for the gun-printing, they (being 3-letter agency of choice) have something else to hang him with

    3. DougS Silver badge

      I'm of two minds about this

      Yeah, it is pretty easy for the Feds to make up fake charges like this - especially involving a minor whose name would be withheld, meaning there's no way to even know if she even exists. The timing is certainly suspicious.

      On the other hand, if people automatically jump to that conclusion every time something like this happens, it would almost act as a free pass to actually commit such crimes since the conspiracy theorists will believe they are made up anyway!

      I don't think the US REALLY cares about 3D printing of guns though, not enough to make up charges against this guy. Because one, with current methods they are more likely to kill the shooter than the target, and two even if they're successful in preventing US citizens from releasing such plans they account for less than 5% of the world's population so someone else will.

      1. DeKrow

        Re: I'm of two minds about this

        > I don't think the US REALLY cares about 3D printing of guns though

        Think about it as precedent. The ultra-powerful NRA manages to maintain the status quo even against mass shootings in schools. The NRA maintains it's power due to LOTS AND LOTS of guns being sold in the US. Once 3D printing matures a bit, and more reliable, bigger, more powerful handguns and rifles can be 3D-printed, then LOTS AND LOTS of guns will be getting 3D-printed rather than sold. A gun itself can't be downloaded from the internet, but blueprints can, and blueprints can be copyright-infringed.

        This will eat at the heart of the happy marriage of capitalism and gun ownership that forms a part of US culture.

        I think the US cares about the 3D printing of guns more than it may seem. They'll try to contain it as long as they can, but restricting the 3D printing of guns at the same time as not changing any other gun laws is hypocrisy that won't stand up to the Constitution (rightly or wrongly).

        1. Byron "Jito463"

          Re: I'm of two minds about this

          "The NRA maintains it's power due to LOTS AND LOTS of guns being sold"

          The NRA is an educational/safety training organization that sells ZERO guns. Not one single gun has ever been sold by the NRA. I'm not quite sure what you're trying to insinuate here, but the power of the NRA comes from the members, not how many guns are sold. Whether we buy them or print them, the NRA has the same power.

          1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

            Re: I'm of two minds about this

            RE: "The NRA is an educational/safety training organization that sells ZERO guns. Not one single gun has ever been sold by the NRA. I'm not quite sure what you're trying to insinuate here, but the power of the NRA comes from the members, not how many guns are sold. Whether we buy them or print them, the NRA has the same power."

            Nope. Seems that's no longer true.

            https://www.businessinsider.com/gun-industry-funds-nra-2013-1

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: I'm of two minds about this

        It does say one thing: if you're going to flaunt the law or an order of the court, because you're some kind of activist, don't make yourself an even BIGGER target by engaging in other more heinous illegal activities, like having sex with minors. And don't claim "they're just after me" either, because it's pretty obvious to the rest of us what's going on.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm of two minds about this

          It does say one thing: if you're going to flaunt the law

          Flaunt the law? You mean like Judge Dredd?

          I'm sure you mean 'flout the law'...

      3. rdhood

        Re: I'm of two minds about this

        "I don't think the US REALLY cares about 3D printing of guns though, not enough to make up charges against this guy. "

        You don't know U.S. liberals. People who fear just holding a gun. People who prosecute kids for using a pencil like a gun and saying "Pow". YOU don't know squat about the U.S.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Could be part of a grand strategy to neutralise / displace potential thinkfluencers, dumbing down the US populace in preparation for Cold War 2.0.

      If you notice ads appearing in your browser related to predilictions you wouldn't have considered - you may be being subversively targetted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If you notice ads appearing in your browser related to predilictions you wouldn't have considered - you may be being subversively targetted.

        If you aren't using an ad blocker, you deserve it.

  3. RGE_Master

    Is it me or he he a doppelganger of Zuckerburg! They could be brothers!!!

  4. zebthecat

    Stay classy

  5. Spazturtle Silver badge

    Isn't the website meant to vet people to make sure they are over 18? If so then they should be charged with facilitation.

    1. poohbear

      No indication as to whether she lied about her age. Or if she was charged with any crime. What about all her other "clients" ?

    2. mutin

      won't help

      Good point but will not help. Even if the site he probably used says "Click that you are at least 17/18" that is the person's responsibility to somehow figure out the age. Otherwise it is his/her fault. Like not knowing law ...

      What ever he is and what ever he did, it is really bad situation when US agencies are against you. Options are really limited.

  6. Jedit
    Headmaster

    Cody Wilson

    Your article forgot to mention that Cody Wilson is the founder of Hatreon, the Patreon knock-off for people who were kicked off that platform for promoting hate speech.

  7. ivan5

    Typical US approach - if they can't get him legally set up a sex charge and get him that way.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    White Hispanic?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hispanic and Latino is consider culture . You can be Hispanic and Latino or just Latino, just Hispanic. So if you are white and born in some were like Brazil your are Hispanic It's weird but America goes even weirder. On census forms and job applications they say white not Hispanic/ black not Hispanic

      1. wtrmute

        Formally if you're from Brazil you're not Hispanic, though you might be called Iberoamerican. Hispanic is someone from a Castillian-speaking country, so everyone in South America but Brazil and the Guyanas, and everyone in Central America but Belize.

  9. Claptrap314 Bronze badge
    Black Helicopters

    Upped the charge...

    This feels queasy. If she presented herself as 17, what exactly is his responsibility? Was he supposed to check her ID? Be able to tell a fake from a real one?

    Having said that, I expect that anyone charged with engaging a prostitute who happens to be under 17 is going to get slapped with this.

    But still. Funny how he gets hit with a prostitution charge so quickly after winning the other case...

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Upped the charge...

      "Was he supposed to check her ID?"

      If your sexual tastes run towards the younger end of the spectrum, or if there is even the slightest bit of doubt that your potential sex partner is of legal age, then yes, you should be checking IDs. That's not a ridiculous proposition.

      1. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: Upped the charge...

        If she has a fake ID you still are screwed. There are guys that met under age girls in bars and still got nailed .

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Upped the charge...

          "guys that met under age girls in bars and still got nailed ."

          'sauce' please. I suspect not so much.

          But even so, it's really kinda dumb to go screwing people you don't know very well anyway. Maybe that's what people oughta think about, beforehand. Just sayin'.

          1. kain preacher Silver badge

            Re: Upped the charge...

            Bob it's like having a passenger in your car that has stuffed drugs in your car. Even in the car can go down.

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Upped the charge...

          "If she has a fake ID you still are screwed"

          I suppose that may depend on the laws in your area, but in most places that I'm aware of, this isn't true. If you were honestly conned, that's a pretty good defense.

          "There are guys that met under age girls in bars and still got nailed ."

          Yep, but I'll bet they didn't check ID. Of course, the better way to go is to stick with women who are old enough that this isn't likely to be an issue. Yes, there are some underage women who look substantially older than they are, but they are rare enough to not worry too much about. Unless, of course, you're picking up so many different women that the odds are greater that you'll run across one of them... but if that's the case, you might want to give your life a bit of examination.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Upped the charge...

        I'd just say (as someone who's WAY older than 18) if she can't get into a bar with you, she's too young. Let _THEM_ check her ID for ya! "Hey let's go grab some cocktails first"

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Upped the charge...

      In the US there is no defense to this other then "It didn't happen" even if she showed him a fake ID that said she was 21 it doesn't matter, he can't use that as a defense.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Upped the charge...

        This isn't true. These laws vary from state to state.

    3. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: Upped the charge...

      "Funny how he gets hit with a prostitution charge so quickly after winning the other case..."

      Nope not prostitution charge, since she was a minor it's sex trafficking and violation of the Mann act . He is looking at 10 years in the federal system.

  10. earl grey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    He's being burned on this one

    I can think of a couple of anti-gun billionaires who would be more than happy to set him up for a fall.

  11. Byron "Jito463"

    Come on, El Reg.

    You should be better than this.

    "Wilson stayed at the Archer until 9.20pm with the assault victim"

    Assault victim? Assuming he's guilty, I wouldn't even attempt to justify his actions. Meeting up with girls nearly half your age - and under 18, at that - is just creepy. Having said that, it sounds from the article like it was completely consensual. So where's the assault?

    That's just lazy writing on your part, something you've been doing more of lately. The reason why Trump gets away with his cries of "fake news", is because of lazy articles like this.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: "So where's the assault?"

      It's sexual assault to have sex with someone too young to legally consent – hence the words "sexual" and "assault" on the US Marshals' wanted poster.

      "You should be better than this."

      You should give us the benefit of the doubt more. We've been reporting criminal investigations since 1998.

      (Wilson is presumed innocent until proved guilty, and this comment and the linked article relate to the allegations made against him.)

      C.

      1. Byron "Jito463"

        Re: "So where's the assault?"

        You claim you were just repeating their words, but none of it was in quotes. this section in particular was part of your own article, not any quoted individual:

        "In a formal interview, the assault victim"

        Considering it wasn't a quote, how am I to know you're quoting anyone?

        As for this part:

        "(Wilson is presumed innocent until proved guilty, and this comment and the linked article relate to the allegations made against him.)"

        If true, why didn't you write "*alleged* assault victim"?

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Jito463

          > Why didn't you write "*alleged* assault victim"?

          Because the sentence that uses "assault victim" is already bookended with caveats: it starts "The paperwork claimed" and ends with "according to police."

          Edit: I've adjusted the wording anyway, on second thoughts, to make it more human - teenager rather than the jargony "assault victim". But my point still stands.

          C.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it was a legislator

    they would be able to vote to pass a self-interested law to legalise their alleged particular sexual preferences.

  13. kain preacher Silver badge

    Based on the web site I think he was set up, but the girl.

    "Meeting up with girls nearly half your age - and under 18, at that - is just creepy."

    But you must be 18 or older to use the site .

    The charge sexual assault is bit miss leading In this context. If he had just had sex with her that would be statutory rape. In most states Sexual assault is one level below rape . Even if he is found not guilty of sexual assault his real problem is he paid a minor for sex. That's state and federal time

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