published Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Utah man sentenced in Boston porn-on-plane case

BOSTON — A Utah man charged with viewing child pornography on a Boston-bound commercial flight won’t have to serve his jail sentence if he sticks to the terms of his probation.

Prosecutors say 50-year-old Salt Lake City resident Grant Smith pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing child pornography.

A Boston judge suspended Smith’s 2 1/2-year sentence and placed him on five years’ probation.

Smith must continue sex offender treatment, comply with Utah sex offender registry requirements and follow restrictions on contact with children and Internet use.

Prosecutors say a fellow first-class passenger saw Smith viewing pornographic computer images of young girls during a November 2011 flight. The passenger took a cellphone photo of the images and alerted a flight attendant.

Smith was arrested in Boston and initially pleaded not guilty. He resigned his job as a University of Utah engineering professor.

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