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Items Seized From Professor Busted At Logan Airport In Child Porn Case

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Grant Smith (Photo courtesy: University of Utah)

Grant Smith (Photo courtesy: University of Utah)

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Investigators say they seized computers and other electronics from a University of Utah professor accused of viewing child pornography on a flight because they believed a girlfriend would destroy the evidence.

Court filings Thursday in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court list the items seized in a search of Grant D. Smith’s Cottonwood Heights condominium.

Smith, 47, was arrested Nov. 26 after fellow first-class passengers on a Delta flight from Salt Lake City to Boston’s Logan International Airport said they saw him viewing child pornography on his laptop computer.

Smith has pleaded not guilty to child pornography possession.

Smith is a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Utah. The university has placed him on administrative leave.

Agents for the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force searched Smith’s condo Nov. 28.

They took an iPod, a computer, two external hard drives, a video camera, a cellphone and a 35mm camera with an undeveloped roll of film. They also seized a telephone bill.

The search warrant doesn’t say what agents discovered from the items, but Utah agents wrote that investigators in Massachusetts feared Smith’s girlfriend might destroy evidence at his condo.

Smith is regarded as an expert in molecular engineering who traveled widely. Massachusetts authorities said they found an image of child pornography in a computer folder titled “Korea.” They determined Smith was in Seoul Nov. 22 at a retreat for a retiring professor.

University of Utah police have searched his office for anything owned by the school that might be considered evidence, Utah agents wrote in the warrant. The university disconnected his office Internet access.

Smith was freed on $75,000 bail Dec. 5. Prosecutors say he was allowed to leave Massachusetts pending court appearances.
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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