BOULDER — A man who pleaded guilty to sending sexual messages to children has told deputies he was stabbed in the back by a masked assailant outside his Boulder County home.

The Boulder Daily Camera reports ( ) 26-year-old Zachary Meints was taken to a hospital after reporting the attack Monday. His condition wasn't immediately available.

Meints told investigators the male suspect was wearing a black hoodie and a black mask and fled on foot. A search was underway.

Meints lives with his parents west of Lafayette.

He pleaded guilty in 2012 to Internet sexual exploitation. Prosecutors say he sent thousands sexual text and Facebook messages to children younger than 15 when he was a youth hockey coach.

He's required to register as a sex offender for 10 years after completing probation.