Professor Caught Watching Child Porn on Plane - FindLaw Blotter
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Professor Caught Watching Child Porn on Plane

The friendly skies apparently got a bit creepy over Thanksgiving weekend, when a college professor was allegedly caught watching child porn on a plane bound for Boston.

Grant D. Smith, 47, of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of possessing child pornography on his laptop, WBZ-TV reports. A judge set bail at $75,000.

Smith, a divorced father of two, teaches chemical engineering at the University of Utah, where he is now on administrative leave, CNN reports.

Smith was seated in the first-class cabin on a flight from Salt Lake City to Boston on Saturday when a fellow passenger saw some disturbing images on Smith’s laptop screen: girls as young as 6, naked and performing sex acts.

The passenger told the plane’s crew about the child porn, and also sent a text message to a relative on the ground to call police.

When a flight attendant asked Grant Smith to turn off his laptop, he tried to delete the child porn images, The Boston Globe reports.

After the plane landed, police confiscated Smith’s laptop and found 66 pornographic pictures. They also seized Smith’s cell phone. Investigators will try to get a search warrant to examine the contents more closely, CNN reports.

“These weren’t photos of a child in the bath that a parent might keep. These were explicitly sexual and extremely disturbing,” prosecutor Daniel Conley told CNN.

If Smith posts bail, the judge has ordered him to stay off the Internet except for business purposes. Smith is also not allowed to have any unsupervised contact with children under 16.

Grant Smith’s next court date on the child porn charges is set for Dec. 27.

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