A university professor was arrested this past weekend in Boston on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges after his flight landed at Logan Airport for allegedly possessing and viewing child pornography in flight.
Grant D. Smith, 47, a science professor at the University of Utah, was arraigned in East Boston District Court yesterday for Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography.
According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Smith was allegedly viewing the child pornography from his first class seat while in flight. A passenger seated behind him allegedly observed the images Smith was looking at and e-mailed his son and asked him to contact police in Massachusetts.
Prosecutors further allege that the passenger then reported the incident to a flight attendant, who instructed Smith to shut off his computer. The flight attendant reported that Smith then allegedly tried to erase the images from his computer.
When the flight landed in Boston, Massachusetts State Police purportedly obtained consent from Smith to search his computer, and they allegedly recovered multiple child pornographic images of children between 5 and 14 years old.
Meanwhile, the University of Utah has placed Smith on administrative leave pending its own investigation.
The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography is a felony that carries up to 5 years in state prison for a first offense. Massachusetts law defines child pornography as any photograph or visual reproduction, or depiction by computer, any child whom the person knows or reasonably should know to be under the age of 18, and the child is engaged in some type of sexual or depicted in a lewd pose.