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3D-printed gun maker Cody Wilson resigns from Defense Distributed

Wilson was arrested in Taiwan and is now facing sexual assault charges in the US.

Cody Wilson, owner of Defense Distributed company, holds a 3D-printed gun, called the "Liberator," in his factory in Austin, Texas. 
Kelly West/AFP/Getty Images

The man at the center of the controversy around 3D-printed guns is leaving the company that makes the weapons. 

Cody Wilson, owner of Defense Distributed, has resigned from the 3D-printed-gun company and will have no future role in it, Paloma Heindorff, the company's director of development, said during a press conference on Tuesday. Heindorff will be the new leader of Defense Distributed. 

"We understand that there have been some changes at Defense Distributed," said Samy Khalil, Wilson's lawyer, in an email statement. "We expect that the company will continue to grow and do its work. In the meantime, we plan to focus on Cody's defense."

Last Wednesday, Wilson was charged with sexual assault after being accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl  in Austin, Texas, where Defense Distributed is based, and then paying her $500. Wilson was then arrested by local authorities in Taipei, Taiwan. The US Marshals Service said it was "fully engaged" on the matter.

US Marshals brought back the 3D-printed-gun creator this past weekend to face the sexual assault charges. He was released from the Harris County Jail in Houston on Sunday on $150,000 bail, according to the Statesman.

Wilson became the center of the controversy when 19 US state attorneys general filed a lawsuit to block the free distribution of his 3D-printed-gun design files due to public safety concerns. The states scored an early victory when a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order, then a preliminary injunction to block the free publication of the gun plans. Wilson started selling the gun plans online the next day, calling it a loophole that the lawsuit didn't mention sales of the guns. 

First published on Sept. 25, 9:49 a.m. PT.

Updates, Sept. 26, 10:26 a.m. PT: Adds Cody Wilson's lawyer Samy Khalil statement.