The 62-year-old man accused of numerous sex crimes against children faces sentencing April 17 after admitting to the crimes.

William Huck of Ste. Genevieve pleaded guilty Friday to seven sex-related charges, but admitted to 30 crimes involving seven children. By pleading guilty as a predatory sexual offender, the judge will have the authority to determine how many years Huck must serve in prison before he is eligible for parole, or if he should not be considered for parole at all.

Huck spoke softly Friday as he gave brief details of the crimes. He had been scheduled for trial next month.

Huck was arrested in March 2007. Police say he confessed to molestations over three decades of children who attended the day care operated by his wife at the family's home.

The victims included five boys and two girls, ranging in age from an infant to a 5-year-old. The incidents occurred between 1998 and 2007, but authorities have said Huck admitted to molesting up to 40 children over the past three decades.

The plea came as one of Huck's cases had been set for trial next month.

The case shook Ste. Genevieve, an historic French settlement about 50 miles south of St. Louis.

According to police reports, the abuse happened during times when Huck's wife was away from the center. Authorities have said Huck used fear to manipulate at least one child.

Huck, a retired railroad worker, had no previous criminal record.

After Huck admitted to the abuse to police, sheriff's deputies interviewed children from throughout the Ste. Genevieve area who attended the day care.

The day care business did not require a license because of the small number of children there at any particular time.

Ste. Genevieve County prosecutor Tim Inman said Huck's wife was cooperative in the investigation. She was not charged.