A Commack man, who was already a registered sex offender, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Central Islip to a child pornography charge.
William Gulick Jr., 36, had been convicted in 1998 for sexual abuse of a child and in 2013 for possession of child pornography, officials said.
Gulick had recently been released from probation on the 2013 possession case when he was arrested at his home by federal agents and Suffolk police on the pornography charge, said Eastern District Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Bode.
Bode said the pornography involved children as young as toddlers.
Before entering Friday's plea before federal Magistrate Steven Locke, Gulick said: "I . . . downloaded child pornography in my Suffolk County home."
"Registered sex offenders such as the defendant are on notice that we are committed to protecting children," Robert Capers, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, said in a statement. "The penalties for repeated child exploitation offenses under federal law are deservedly severe."
Gulick faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and up to 40 years when he is sentenced.
According to prosecutor Bode and court papers, agents and Suffolk cops went to Gulick's home in 2014 to search for the possible child pornography because a computer located there indicated it possessed the material.
Bode said the law enforcement officials had to use a Taser to disarm and arrest Gulick, after he apparently tried to stab himself with a kitchen knife.
Before the stabbing attempt, the papers said, Gulick told law enforcement personnel: "I'm not going back . . . I've been doing this for 35 years and the devil has gotten to me. . . . I can't do this anymore . . . This is my third strike . . . Living with this type of disease is worse than any type of cancer, but it's a very sick twisted thing you have to live with every day."
Court records say that Gulick served 90 days in Suffolk County jail for the 1998 abuse case, involving an 8-year-old, and probation for the 2013 possession case.
Prosecutor Bode also said in court that Gulick told investigators that he had abused another six to eight children whom he had apparently come across at random and whom he described as "victims of opportunity." Because Gulick could not identify them, Bode said, the information could not be followed up on.
Bode and Gulick's attorney, federal public defender Tracy Gaffey, declined to comment after the plea.