A 53-year old St. Louis man has pleaded guilty to accessing with intent to view child pornography.

The US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of MO says that 53-year old Rolf Rathmann, of St. Louis, already a registered sex offender by virtue of a 2003 conviction for eight counts of statutory sodomy in Missouri state court, admitted to accessing numerous images and videos of child pornography, including images of children involved in sadistic and masochistic conduct.

Rathmann reportedly admitted to visiting an online "meeting room" within an online video conferencing application during 2015 and 2016. In the meeting room, Rathmann repeatedly viewed and commented on images and videos of child pornography. According to a press release from the US Attorney's Office, Rathmann also repeatedly professed his preference for pre-teen and early teen boys.

Rathmann was identified as the individual behind the username "hi" from the online meeting room and a search warrant was obtained for his residence in the City of St. Louis. A search of the residence revealed electronic hardware and storage containing additional evidence of his possession and receipt of child pornography. Forensic analysis of Rathmann’s computer equipment revealed saved Skype chats that appeared to be between him and underage boys and in which he appeared to admit to historical sexual misconduct against underage boys.

"This is a serious case of misconduct by a convicted sexual offender.  Rathmann is a threat to the community and I believe this plea agreement reflects that serious threat," said U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen.

Due to his criminal history, Rathmann faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years. The statutory maximum term of imprisonment for accessing with the intent to view child pornography is 20 years. Rathmann also faces lifetime court supervision when released from prison.

Alex_Schmidt, ThinkStock