September 23, 2018 / 5:25 PM / a month ago

Texan who published 3-D guns plans jailed on sex assault charge

(Reuters) - A Texas man running a 3-D printed guns company was booked into a Houston jail on a charge of sexual assault on Sunday after Taiwanese officials sent him back to the United States, where he is accused of having sex with an underage girl.

Cody Wilson appears in a handout photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, September 21, 2018. U.S. Marshals Service/Handout via REUTERS

Cody Wilson, 30, flew to Taiwan after learning he was under investigation, police said, and was picked up by Taiwanese authorities on Friday after his U.S. passport was annulled. He was deported to the United States on Saturday.

He was booked into Harris County jail in Houston on Sunday, according to the jail’s website.

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Wilson’s attorney, Samy Khalil, said in a statement late on Sunday: “We are glad that Cody is back in Texas again where we can work with him on his case. That’s our focus right now, representing our client and preparing his defence.”

As the founder of Defense Distributed, Wilson became a notable figure in the U.S. debate over guns after the company posted on the internet the blueprints for plastic guns that can be made with a 3-D printer.

The files could previously be downloaded for free but a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction last month that blocked the posting of the blueprints online.

Wilson was placed under investigation after a counsellor told authorities on Aug. 22 a 16-year-old girl said she was paid $500 to have sex with Wilson at an Austin hotel, police said.

Investigators later interviewed the girl and obtained a warrant for Wilson’s arrest on Wednesday, but by then he had caught a flight to Taiwan. Police said at the time they were aware Wilson travelled often for business but that it was not clear why he had flown to Taiwan.

Reporting by Daniel Trotta in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Paul Tait

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