Judge denies bail reduction for prof. who allegedly viewed child porn on plane

A Superior Court judge has denied a request for lower bail by a University of Utah professor who allegedly watched child pornography on his laptop on a flight to Boston last weekend, according to the Boston Globe.

Grant D. Smith, 47, of Cottonwood Heights was arrested last Saturday at Logan International Airport after a fellow passenger on the flight from Salt Lake City allegedly spotted what he was viewing. Smith was arraigned in East Boston District Court on Monday.

Smith’s attorney asked Judge Carol Ball to reduce his $75,000 cash bail under a statute that allows a defendant in district court to petition a superior court judge for bail reduction.

Ball denied Smith’s petition without prejudice, meaning he can seek review at a later date.

“Based on the facts of the case, additional charges are probable and in fact quite likely,” said Assistant Suffolk District Attorney David Deakin.

Deakin added Smith’s bail was necessary to ensure his appearance at future court dates.

“He has no ties to the Commonwealth,” he said. “His ties to Utah appear to be weakening by the day … It appears he has as many ties to Korea and Malaysia as he does to Massachusetts.”

Smith told officers he traded images of teens online. Police recovered from his computer images of children as young as 5 years old in sexual contact with men, prosecutors said.

Smith was arrested for possession of child pornography, which is punishable by up to five years in state prison. A person convicted of that offense must also register as a sex offender.

Smith is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 27.

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