University Professor Caught Viewing Child Pornography On A Delta Flight


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University Professor Caught Viewing Child Pornography On A Delta Flight

By Shane Nolan

November 29, 2011 – Grant Smith a professor at the University of Utah on Monday pleaded not guilty in East Boston District Court to charges filed against him that he was viewing child pornography on his laptop during a flight from Salt Lake City to Boston Logan Airport on Saturday. Bail was set at $75,000. 

The Massachusetts State Police said the 47-year-old Grant Smith of Cottonwood Heights, Utah was onboard a Delta flight sitting in first-class cabin Saturday afternoon when another passenger seating behind him saw Smith viewing child pornography on his laptop and alerted the flight crew. 

The Massachusetts State Police said they met Smith at 4:30 PM as he unboarded the aircraft and took him into custody. Smith began deleting the images from his computer while in flight. However, the authorities confiscated Smith's laptop and cell phone.

Smith’s laptop reveled 66 images of children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said "These weren't photos of a child in the bath that a parent might keep. These were explicitly sexual and extremely disturbing." 

Smith is a divorced father of two children. He is a professor of material science and engineering and an adjunct professor of chemical engineering at the University of Utah. The University of Utah has placed Smith on administrative leave pending the outcome of this case.  

A school spokes person stated "Professor Smith deserves a full and fair investigation into this issue. The University of Utah, however, has no tolerance for viewing or possessing of child pornography by any of its employees, regardless of where it occurs." The school further stated if Smith is found guilty he will be fired. 

Smith does not have a prior criminal history however admits to trading the child pornography over the internet. He has been ordered to stay away from child, may not use the internet unless it is business related. Smith is due back in court on December 27th.

State police spokesman David Procopio stated “In the view of the State Police, child pornography is a form of child sexual abuse nothing less. Those who possess it a crime unto itself foster an evil network that sexually abuses and exploits children irreparably.
“Stopping child pornographers is a critical part of our mission to protect children. Along with our federal and local partners, we execute dozens of warrants related to this wicked crime each year. One hopes there is a special place in Hell for the evil people who make, trade, and possess child pornography. Until they get there, we are committed to putting them in jail.”

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