A Bay St. Louis man has pleaded to guilty to child pornography charges, admitting he surfed the internet for child erotica and downloaded more than 12,000 sexually explicit images.
Peter Skladzien, 57, changed his plea Monday in U.S. District Court, pleading guilty to possession of and receiving child pornography. He received pornographic pictures of children from Sept. 8, 2006, through Dec. 14, 2016, according to the indictment.
Each count carries maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and post-release supervision for life.
Skladzien was a contract worker in information technology for NASA when he came under investigation.
The child pornography was found on three of his seven home computers, according to an affidavit.
NASA’s Office of Inspector General had found a work email confirming Skladzien had made a suspicious trip to Thailand in April 2016. Homeland Security Investigations confirmed Skladzien had used a PayPal account in Thailand to view sexually explicit web cam “shows” involving children.
Pictures and videos from his home computers were sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. By September, NCMEC reported it had identified 325 pictures of 51 known child victims of sexual exploitation, a document says.
Skladzien was arrested in Houston in February as he prepared to board a plane to Thailand, a country federal agents have said is “a sexual tourism destination.”
His sentencing is set for Sept. 28 before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden. He has been held without bond.