ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A former University of Pennsylvania professor was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison for producing child pornography for importation to the United States, authorities said.

Lawrence Scott Ward, 64, of Philadelphia, had pleaded guilty to the charges in February. He had been in custody since his arrest in August 2006, after returning from Brazil through Washington Dulles International Airport.

At Dulles, customs agents found a video on his laptop computer showing young children engaged in sexual activity and DVDs containing videos of Ward having sex acts with an underage boy, according to court documents.

Ward, a professor emeritus at Penn's Wharton School of Business, is retired. He had been scheduled to teach last fall before university officials relieved him of those duties after his arrest.

In 1999, Ward was accused of soliciting sex from an undercover Pennsylvania state trooper posing as a 15-year-old boy. He was charged with attempting to promote prostitution and corrupt minors and entered an Alford plea, which means he pleaded guilty while not admitting he committed the crimes. He was fined $2,500 and given five years' probation. *