Creator of 3D-printed gun resigns from his company after sexual assault arrest

Cody Wilson capped off a weeklong journey through the criminal justice system ― in which he was charged with sexual assault, arrested in Taiwan and jailed in the U.S. ― by leaving his company, where he created what’s been called the world’s first 3D-printed gun.

VICE News first reported that the 30-year-old Texan will no longer sit at the helm of Defense Distributed, which has essentially cornered the 3D-printed gun market while drawing the ire of U.S. authorities for posting the blueprints online.

“Cody Wilson tendered his resignation Friday evening to focus on personal legal affairs,” said Paloma Heindorff, the company’s former chief of operations, who will take the reins in place of Wilson. “Defense Distributed’s board of directors accepted his resignation, and thus his role at the company has been concluded.”

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3D-printed gun backer Cody Wilson
Cody Wilson poses with an example of a 3-D printed gun, called the "Liberator," which his company Defense Distributed designs at his factory in Austin, Texas, U.S. August 1, 2018. Picture taken August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Kelly West
Cody Wilson appears in a booking photo provided by the Harris County Sheriff's Office in Houston, Texas, September 24, 2018. Harris County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY
Cody Wilson, founder of the group Defense Distributed that creates 3-D printed guns, poses at his factory in Austin, Texas, U.S. August 1, 2018. Picture taken August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Kelly West
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 15: Cody Wilson speaks onstage at the premiere of 'Deep Web' during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at the Austin Convention Center on March 15, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW)
Cody Wilson appears in a handout photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, September 21, 2018. U.S. Marshals Service/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY
Cody Wilson holds an example of a 3-D printed gun, called the "Liberator," which his company Defense Distributed designs at his factory in Austin, Texas, U.S. August 1, 2018. Picture taken August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Kelly West
TOPSHOT - 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. - The US 'crypto-anarchist' who caused panic this week by publishing online blueprints for 3D-printed firearms said Wednesday that whatever the outcome of a legal battle, he has already succeeded in his political goal of spreading the designs far and wide. A federal court judge blocked Texan Cody Wilson's website on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, by issuing a temporary injunction. (Photo by Kelly WEST / AFP) (Photo credit should read KELLY WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Cody Wilson arrives at the 'The New Radical' Premiere at Temple Theater on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
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. - The US 'crypto-anarchist' who caused panic this week by publishing online blueprints for 3D-printed firearms said Wednesday that whatever the outcome of a legal battle, he has already succeeded in his political goal of spreading the designs far and wide. A federal court judge blocked Texan Cody Wilson's website on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, by issuing a temporary injunction. (Photo by Kelly WEST / AFP) (Photo credit should read KELLY WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 09: Cody Wilson speaks onstage at the 'Print the Legend' Photo Op and Q&A during the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 9, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Dustin Finkelstein/Getty Images for SXSW)
Cody Wilson appears in a booking photo provided by the Harris County Sheriff's Office in Houston, Texas, September 24, 2018. Harris County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
A 3D printed gun, called the 'Liberator', is seen in a factory in Austin, Texas on August 1, 2018. - The US 'crypto-anarchist' who caused panic this week by publishing online blueprints for 3D-printed firearms said Wednesday that whatever the outcome of a legal battle, he has already succeeded in his political goal of spreading the designs far and wide. A federal court judge blocked Texan Cody Wilson's website on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, by issuing a temporary injunction. (Photo by Kelly West / AFP) (Photo credit should read KELLY WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
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On Sept. 19, Austin, Texas, police charged Wilson with sexual assault of a minor, after he allegedly paid $500 to a 16-year-old girl he met on SugarDaddyMeet.com to have sex with him at a local hotel. With that announcement, police also threw in the revelation that Wilson had jetted to Taipei prior to formal charges.

But he was quickly arrested by Taiwanese authorities after he tried to book a hotel there and was transported back to Texas over the past weekend. He posted a $150,000 bond on Monday and was released in Houston, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Wilson’s quick departure from Defense Distributed seems to answer the question of what happens to his business ― and the 3D-printed gun industry ― now that he’s facing felony charges. Heindorff, his 29-year-old successor, told the Statesman that the company has received about 3,000 orders for its gun blueprints since their free dissemination online was stopped by a federal court last month.

“I cannot be more proud of my team right now,” she told the paper. “We didn’t miss a beat. No one blinked. No one has missed a day at work. We’ve all come in. We’re still shipping. We have no intention of stopping.” 

Defense Distributed has reportedly raised about $400,000 to fight a group of state attorneys general over the release of such blueprints. You can read more about the ongoing court battle here.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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