Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Utah professor says he's innocent of child porn charges

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:49 PM EST, Mon November 28, 2011Cops: Professor viewed porn on plane

(CNN) -- A Utah professor allegedly caught looking at child pornography during an airline flight said Monday at a court hearing that he is innocent, the Suffolk County, Massachusetts, district attorney's office said.
A passenger aboard Grant D. Smith's Salt Lake City-to-Boston flight on Saturday spotted him looking at what appeared to be images of young girls, nude or performing sex acts, and alerted the flight crew and a family member, who in turn notified law enforcement, according to a statement from the district attorney's office.
When a flight attendant asked Smith to shut down his computer, he began deleting images, prosecutor Erik Bennett said, CNN affiliateWCVB reported. Police who met the plane were able to recover 66 images from the computer, said the station, citing authorities.
Smith's laptop and cell phone were seized as evidence, and investigators will seek a search warrant to examine their contents thoroughly, according to the statement.
"These weren't photos of a child in the bath that a parent might keep," Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said. "These were explicitly sexual and extremely disturbing."


  1. Which sport did he coach?

  2. kiddie porn on the plane? I'm not a psych proffie, but I'd call that behavior self-destructive.

  3. You're not going to like this Beaker Ben, but he has degrees in Engineering and Materials Science....he's been at Utah U. since his undergrad days.

    I find it interesting that nobody finds HOW the cops found he had kiddie porn slightly objectionable; a guy on board the plane took cell phone photographs of his laptop screen, probably over his shoulder, then emailed them to somebody who called the cops. Can somebody say "snitch culture?"

  4. I get your point, Strel, and I'd be the first person yelling if someone had used similar tactics on, say, someone who was reading a book in Arabic, but this might just be the kind of "if you see something, say something" I can get behind.

    And yes, looking at such stuff in public is seriously stupid, self-destructive behavior. Or maybe -- and I'm not a psychologist either -- self-protective, in a very odd way? It almost seems like he wanted to get caught. Either way, I'm glad he was, and I hope all he had done was look (of course, that still means that some kid somewhere was made to pose for those pictures -- and it sounds like they *were* posed).

  5. So long as it's genuine child porn and not "pictures of my two year old playing in the tub" photos, then yeah, call the cops...

  6. You know what's weird? There is no way to know what kiddie porn actually looks like without being a criminal kiddie porn viewer. This has nothing to do with the Utah dude, but it's always struck me as a strange paradox. I believe that kiddie porn exists, and I believe that it's abusive to children and gross, and I have no desire to see it for the purposes of arousal (promise), but it's like a visual black hole. It's not a paradox I know how to fix, but I do find it very odd.

    Not that anyone asked.

  7. @F&T - Depending on how the laws are written, it might be possible. For example, it might not be punishable to have seen child porn while abroad. Or it is probably not punishable to have seen it under duress ("Watch this or I pull the trigger") or otherwise involuntarily. If some hacker got illegal pictures flashed onto some livestream or live TV show or someone held up a picture in front of your face, it would be ridiculous to punish the viewer(s).

    I wonder if the guy who snitched on him is busted. After all, he has it on his cell phone.

  8. Quite the paradox you pose there, AdSlave.

    Not unlike the pickle those who treat sex offenders find themselves in.

    How can the success of reprogramming one's inappropriate predilections be tested without having the illicit materials which were once used to cause arousal?

    I won't even go into assessment via plesmography!

  9. Great. Now the ad for Snorg t-shirts in the side bar shows a young girl with the top button of her pants open and undies showing. At least she's wearing some.

  10. BB: that's funny, I get an Amazon ad for cameras...

  11. I get a truely disturbing combination of ads for a book on the truth of evolution, the charlie brown christmas special on dvd... and something called a "self defense keychain."

  12. I have the self-defense keychain too, as well as the Charlie Brown. I also have ads for a camera, a book on evolution and restaurant gift certificates. It's easy to see which threads caused the keychain and the book on evolution. I don't know where the rest came from. The camera might come from this thread talking about photos.

  13. There is no way to know what kiddie porn actually looks like without being a criminal kiddie porn viewer.

    There are descriptions available, and besides, 'most everybody has some clue what "porn" is. "Porn" with children = "kiddie porn."

  14. Well, sorry, but to me it's like the Holocaust -- it so stretches the bounds of the imagination as to make it unimaginable, making you want something tangible to get a grip on/with. But in this case getting the grip is participating in the problem.


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