AUSTIN (KXAN) — Defense Distributed, the Austin company behind controversial 3D-printed gun designs, announced at a Tuesday morning press conference that its founder has resigned after his arrest on a charge of sexual assault of a juvenile.
Cody Wilson, 30, is accused of paying a 16-year-old girl he met on a “Sugar Daddy” meetup website $500 for sex. He was arrested in Taipei, Taiwan on Sept. 21 and returned to Texas on Saturday.
“We are glad that Cody is back in Texas again where we can work with him on his case,” said Wilson’s attorney Samy Khalil on Sunday. “That’s our focus right now, representing our client and preparing his defense.”
Paloma Heindorff, the new director of Defense Distributed, said Wilson resigned Friday evening to focus on “personal legal affairs” and has no role going forward in the company, which has 20 employees and contractors.
Heindorff, who declined to address any aspect of Wilson’s case, said she was extremely proud of her team’s “resilience” following their founder’s arrest and a federal judge’s decision last month that the company’s untraceable 3D-printed gun designs cannot be posted online.
She said the company has raised about $400,000 for their legal defense fund for the federal case.
Addressing Wilson’s previous role in the company, Heindorff said, “I think it’s obvious to everyone here that he’s been an incredibly powerful figurehead… We believe in something, and that something isn’t one man. That something is an idea, and we are fully committed to that idea.”