A former University of Pennsylvania business professor - arrested last year after U.S. immigration personnel conducting a routine luggage check found child pornography he had produced in Brazil - was sentenced to 15 years in prison without parole yesterday.
Lawrence Scott Ward, 64, an emeritus professor in marketing at the Wharton School, pleaded guilty Feb. 20 to a count of importation of child pornography arising from his Aug. 27 arrest at Dulles International Airport near Washington.
Jim Rybicki, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg of the Eastern District of Virginia, said Ward also was fined $17,500 by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema during the hearing in Alexandria, Va.
Ward made no statement to the judge before sentencing, Rybicki said. He had been held without bail since his arrest.
Rosenberg released a statement after the sentencing saying the case proved that "individuals who exploit our children come from all walks of life."
Ward was retired, but as an emeritus professor had been scheduled to teach a class in the fall before his Aug. 27 arrest.
Ward was going through a luggage check after a flight from Brazil when a customs agent found a video on his laptop computer showing young children engaged in sexual activities. The agent also found DVDs that contained videos of Ward having sex with an underage boy.
Ward had several earlier brushes with the law involving minors.
In 1999, he was convicted of soliciting sex from an undercover state trooper posing as a minor. He was fined $2,500 and placed on five years' probation.
In that case, Ward was convicted after entering what is known as an "Alford plea," in which he pleaded guilty even though in court he would not admit committing the crimes.
At that time, Penn issued a statement that "based on the policies of the University of Pennsylvania, Scott Ward remains as a member of the standing faculty in the Marketing Department."
In 1995, he was acquitted of similar charges in a trial in which a male prostitute alleged that as a child, he had sex with the professor.