Will Hayden
Will Hayden

Via Nola.com:

After allegations of rape were made public, Red Jacket Firearms decided to end its relationship with Will Hayden, founder of the Baton Rouge gun shop and the star of “Sons of Guns,” a now-canceled reality TV short on Discovery Channel.

Hayden has been booked on rape charges after a 12-year-old girl told authorities that Hayden allegedly raped her for nearly a year on an almost daily basis.

Hayden has been booked in East Baton Parish Prison on one count of aggravated rape. He remains in prison on a $250,000 bail.

“I too believe in the judicial system and believe that the full truth will come out,” Joe Meaux, CEO of Red Jacket Firearms said on the shop’s Facebook page. “Our decision to remove Will from any dealings in Red Jacket was not made lightly nor hastily. I feel this was the best action for our family, crew, customers and partners.”

Meaux explained more at Red Jacket’s website.

My name is Joseph Meaux and I am the CEO of Red Jacket Firearms LLC. I became the full time manager of Red Jacket Firearms LLC in 2012. When Red Jacket Firearms became nationally known, the exponential increase in business required a different management group. I’ve been leading the charge to run the firearms manufacturing in that group. The TV show “Sons of Guns” was both a blessing and curse for our companies. TV producers want drama and ratings and that allowed little time for the orderly manufacturing of firearms. When the cameras were off we have been doing everything we could to fulfill our obligations to our customers.

On August 9, 2014, Will Hayden was arrested for allegations of child molestation. The allegations were a bombshell for everyone involved. Red Jacket and Red Jacket Firearms, LLC. chose to separate from Will Hayden fully and legally, so that we could operate without his involvement. Will has absolutely no remaining ownership or interest in any Red Jacket Firearms entities.

There’s more to Meaux’s statement at the link.

I’m not a fan of reality-style television shows, so I can’t claim to be an expert on the show. From Meaux’s statement, it appears that Will Hayden was involved in the entertainment aspects of “Sons of Guns” far more than he has been the firearms company Red Jacket Firearms for several years now. Meaux is now in the difficult position of attempting to run a company and represent employees that have been unfairly tainted by Hayden’s arrest.

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It’s important to keep everything in context, and sadly, far too many people are worried about Will Hayden than anyone else impacted by his alleged crimes. They seem worried that Will Hayden is being tried in the court of public opinion. They’re spreading rumors that the charges are nothing more than the unfounded allegation of a bitter ex-wife, and whine that he’s being viewed as “guilty until proven innocent,” not “innocent until proven guilty.” They don’t think that’s “fair.”

“Innocent until proven guilty” is a legal concept, and is confined to the courts.

Outside of the courtroom, Americans have never held back on holding forth on their opinions of people suspected of crimes, and I doubt very many rushing to Will Hayden’s defense did so for Woody Allen or Roman Polanski. Likewise, I suspect the Hollywood types who (still) defend Allen and Polanski feel nothing but revulsion for Will Hayden.

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Tags: Crime