Cody Wilson, the Austin, Texas, man who sparked controversy and fear after publicizing online blueprints for 3D-printed guns, has struck a plea deal nearly a year after he was arrested for sexual assault.
Wilson, who was accused of having sex with a minor, pleaded guilty on Friday in Travis County to a lesser charge of injury to a child, the Associated Press reported.
Under the reduced sentence, Wilson would stay out of prison, but he would have to register as a sex offender for seven years and serve probation, during which time he would not be allowed to own a firearm. He would also be required to perform community service and pay a $1,200 fine.
In September, Wilson was booked into a Houston jail after he was sent back to the U.S. by officials in Taiwan, where he had suddenly traveled upon learning about the case against him, according to Reuters.
That month, Wilson allegedly met a 16-year-old girl on a dating website called SugarDaddyMeet.com, paying her $500 in exchange for sex, the Austin-American Statesman reported. In Texas, the age of consent is 17.
His defense lawyer, F. Andino Reynal, told the paper that Wilson was unaware that she was a minor. The website asks users to confirm they are at least 18 by checking a box before registering for an account.
In 2013, Wilson, a self-described “crypto-anarchist” created the first ever fully 3D-printed gun, a .380-caliber pistol, and shared the plans on his website. The instructions were accompanied by an anarchist manifesto proclaiming the start of a new era in which gun ownership would essentially become a free-for-all, allowing anyone to manufacture arms.
More than a dozen states sued Wilson, challenging the legality of publishing instructions for creating a fully homemade gun. Though Wilson contended that the 3D blueprints were protected by the First Amendment, in August 2018, a federal judge blocked him from posting the plans online, supporting the decision of numerous state attorneys general.
Wilson resigned from his company after his arrest.