BOSTON (CBS) — A professor at the University of Utah pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he viewed child pornography on his laptop during a flight from Salt Lake City to Boston.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

47-year-old Grant Smith of Cottonwood Heights, Utah was arraigned in East Boston District Court. Bail was set at $75,000.

If he is released, Smith will not be allowed to have any contact with children without supervision.

State police say Smith was sitting in first class on a Delta flight Saturday afternoon when another passenger saw the pornographic images and alerted the flight crew.

The passenger also e-mailed a relative and asked them to call police.

Investigators say he began to erase the files after the flight attendent told him to shut off his computer.

State troopers met Smith after the plane landed at Logan Airport and took him into custody.

Police say they found several disturbing files on his laptop, including photos of children, mostly girls, ranging from 5-to-14 years old.

Smith has been charged with possession of child pornography. He was also ordered to stay off the Internet, unless it’s for business purposes.

Smith is a divorced father of two young children. He is a professor of material science and engineering and an adjunct professor of chemical engineering at the University of Utah.

Prosecutors say his laptop was purchased with grant money.

Smith does not have a criminal record, but prosecutors said Monday he admitted to police that he has traded pictures of teens over the Internet.

State police spokesman David Procopio issued this blistering statement about the arrest Sunday.

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.

Smith is due back in court December 27th.

WBZ-TV’s Sera Congi reports

Comments (178)
  1. William W says:

    One day people will view the dismemberment of infants, i.e. abortion, with as much disgust as they do the pornographic abuse of children.

  2. Darryl says:

    I’d expect nothing less from acedemia….

  3. Below the belt says:

    Maybe this proff could do one of the commercials that hitting the TV lately – goes something like this.

    I love math and the sciences – they are my passion second only to teaching the youth of America and being able to enjoy their company. Guess you could say the complexity of our world is the chemistry that motivates me to study the everthing around me.

    I’m a professor, I’m a father – soon to be a felon and…I’m a Mormon.

    1. John says:

      You are sick, and a vile slanderer.

      1. Stuck one, below the belt says:

        Wait, let me guess, you’re a Moron too?!!

      2. Shannon says:

        Try being a practicing Catholic! Better develop a thick skin my Mormon friend.

    2. lillith says:

      Where does it say Mormon in the article? Your hatred is showing.

      On the contrary, the Mormon and other conservatives in the state have made the strict laws he will be charged under.
      State police spokesman David Procopio issued this blistering statement about the arrest Sunday.

      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.

  4. BigBoa says:

    It is NOT “just because of the internet and now we hear about it”…… While it is probably true to the extent that some of these POS existed in the past, there ARE more now. But why does there appear to be THAT MUCH MORE? BECAUSE it is being tolerated and even promoted. The media shows it constantly, it is being taught as acceptable in schools. What do you THINK would happen? And notice the protection? A football coach raping boys and yet hardly a WORD about the acts being HOMOSEXUAL in nature. Young women on some of the blogs BITTERLY defend homosexuality. Yet, when asked why they support a man craving to have anothe man put his penis in his rectum, they respond with “you’re SICK”!!

    Hate to be the one to tell you, but THAT is EXACTLY what you defend when you try to promote and defend homosexuality….. When caught putting even a finger on a minor, they should be executed.

  5. lee says:

    How dare you attack someone who is obviously an enlightened, educated liberal who has obviously evolved past your superstitious standards about personal morals and behavior! This man is a shining light on the hill in Barry’s new world order in which no one will need to cling to their bibles or guns! This is without a doubt, simply the opening salvo in the conservatives war against Obama’s new chosen base of overly educated but unschooled elites, and the welfare class he is working so hard to expand! Shame on you closed minded relics from the middle ages!

  6. Jody Schmody says:

    Just to clear up “Jesus was an unemployed liberal Jew”… No, Jesus worked. He was employed by God to do His work. And Jesus worked hi butt off. Unlike libs who want free hand outs. Jesus GAVE from His gifts.

  7. Way Wilark says:

    Do not mess with Odrama obama’s 2012’s voters base!

    Obama’s Coalition for 2012 election will explicitly abandon the white working class and cement a center-left coalition made up of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment, e.g…… professors.

    http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/the-future-of-the-obama-coalition/

  8. jerrystr says:

    Two professions that attract pediphiles is the preisthood and teaching, but it is politically incorrect to point this out. PC is more important than keeping children safe?

  9. 'Nother Son Of Ursus says:

    Has anyone checked to see if this beast-in-a-human-body is/was a ‘secret’ clerical/clerical-student yet?
    …Jus’ askin’!

  10. Christopher O. Landreneau says:

    Time for an internet cleansing. No p*rn image access on the internet period! Moral denigration due to the ease of access to the soul destroying plague of lust that is prevalent on the internet needs to taken on as if we were at war.

  11. Robert Marvin Smith says:

    So this the type of stimulus that Barry is promoting with these his grants.

  12. Matt says:

    I think the best part of the article is the press release from Mass SP…someone had some sack and wasn’t afraid of offending the politically correct handwringers…

  13. John says:

    Sounds like he has great opportunity working for the obama administration or the DNC.

  14. Randy4 says:

    As we all know, university profs have way too much time on their hands. We should require them to work for a living. We were better off when they were simply having sex with students in exchange for better grades.

  15. duck breath says:

    aw, come on, this guy was just getting himself prepared for an interview for a position at Harvard….

  16. Tom Walter says:

    How come these perv’s always have odd shaped heads? Just wondering.

  17. arnoldripkin says:

    Viewing kiddie porn will get you more jail time than actually raping a child. That must be the case since we have so many predators living around us. I guess all the kiddie porn crowd is still in jail. The media will make front page headlines out a guy caught viewing child porn, yet will largely ignore hundreds of attacks on children. I find that curious that’s all.

  18. Will says:

    Not surprised. University Professor using grant (taxpayer) money for his own perverted purpose. It is also these wackjobs that discredit the name of the institutions that they work for, not us “throwing great colleges under the bus because of the alleged crimes of some men”.

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