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News Link • Sexuality: Sex and the Law

Judge orders Cody Wilson's arrest, but he skipped his return flight from Taiwan

• ARS TEchnica

AUSTIN, Texas—On Wednesday morning, a county judge signed the arrest warrant for Cody Wilson, who is accused of sexually assaulting an unnamed underage girl.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Austin Police Department told the public Wilson still wasn't in custody. The Defense Distributed founder's last known whereabouts are Taipei, Taiwan, and he skipped his flight back to the states. Authorities believe he received a tip about the new allegations.

"We know Mr. Wilson frequently travels for business," Commander Troy Officer, of APD's Organized Crime Division, told assembled press shortly after 2pm. "We don't know why he went to the Taiwan, but we do know that he was informed that he was being investigated."

The Allegations

In a five-page affidavit obtained earlier in the day by Ars, APD detective Shaun Donovan outlines what allegedly took place between Wilson and the unnamed victim. The Defense Distributed founder initially met with the girl on August 15 at Bennu Coffee on 515 South Congress Ave.

APD later obtained surveillance video from the area, which showed the girl around 8:09pm that evening. She also told police that she next got in Wilson's black Ford Edge SUV. The affidavit notes that a Ford Edge is registered to Defense Distributed.

The girl told police that she accompanied Wilson to the Archer Hotel, about 13 miles north of Bennu, and that Wilson parked using the hotel's valet service. APD discovered hotel surveillance video showed that Wilson and the girl exited the car at the hotel around 8:35pm. Police also obtained "digital valet receipts," which showed that the SUV was returned to Wilson around 9:17pm.

According to the girl, she and Wilson took an elevator to the 7th Floor, where they entered Room 718. Again, hotel surveillance video corroborated her account, and hotel records confirmed that Wilson was registered for the hotel that evening. After their encounter, Wilson allegedly paid her with five $100 bills.

Police say Wilson next drove the girl 33 miles south and dropped her off at a Whataburger. Once more, police found that video footage corroborated her account.

A week after the alleged encounter, a counselor contacted APD on August 22 to inform them that one of her clients had been involved in this incident. Detectives then interviewed the girl, who provided numerous details about her alleged encounter with Wilson.

The girl's parents also allowed the police to search the girl's iPhone. There, authorities found numerous messages and links to SugarDaddyMeet.com, the website where Wilson and the girl apparently met.

Police ultimately matched a Texas driver's license of Wilson, who allegedly went by the handle "Sanjuro," with Sanjuro's profile picture on the website.

Wilson and the girl exchanged messages first through SugarDaddyMeet and later via iMessages. Reportedly, he eventually told the girl that he was a "big deal." When she attempted to learn more about him, the girl found numerous news articles about the digital firearms activist.

She was interviewed a second time on August 30 by Austin police, and at that time she told authorities she and Wilson had exchanged nude photos of one another.

Upon Wilson's arrest, Travis County Magistrate Judge Tamara Needles also ordered that police take photographs of the inside of Wilson's "upper legs," presumably as a way that he can be identified by the victim. Wilson apparently has a "uniquely identifiable skin condition" according to court documents.

Today, Travis County Magistrate Judge Tamara Needles set a bond at $150,000 and required that Wilson surrender his passport. Upon arrest, Judge Needles also ordered that police take photographs of the inside of Wilson's "upper legs," presumably as a way that he can be identified by the victim. Wilson apparently has a "uniquely identifiable skin condition" according to court documents.

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