University of Utah Professor Grant Smith, charged with viewing child pornography on his laptop aboard a flight from Salt Lake City to Boston, pleaded not guilty Monday in an East Boston courtroom.

The 47-year-old from Cottonwood Heights, Utah, sat in a first class seat aboard a Delta flight Saturday when the passenger sitting behind him alerted crew to disturbing images seen on Smith's computer. The passenger also reportedly took a cellphone picture of Smith and sent it to a relative, who contacted Massachusetts law enforcement.

Smith was met at Logan Airport by state troopers, who asked to see the computer he was allegedly viewing the pornography on.

After the arrest, Massachusetts State Police Spokesman David Procipio said the state views child pornography as a form a sexual abuse against children.

Those who possess it -- a crime unto itself -- foster an evil network that sexually abuses and exploits children irreparably, Procipio told The Associated Press.

On Monday, the professor's lawyer entered his not guilty plea. According to Boston's WCVB-TV, prosecutors found more than 66 images of children ranging from ages 5-10.

Prosecutor Erik Bennett said Smith began to delete the files after the flight attendant saw photos and asked Smith to close the computer.

The judge ordered Smith to be held on $75,000 bail and allowed no unsupervised contact with children. The pre-trial hearing will take place on Dec. 27.

Smith, a professor of material science, has worked at the University of Utah for 14 years. According to Boston.com, the computer in question was bought by a grant paid for by the university.

The University of Utah placed the professor on administrative leave shortly after the arrest.  

Professor Smith deserves a full and fair investigation into this issue, the university said in statement to The Daily Utah Chronicle. The University of Utah, however, has no tolerance for the viewing or possessing of child pornography by any of its employees, regardless of where it occurs. As a result, if the allegations against Professor Smith are found to be true, the University will immediately seek Professor Smith's dismissal.