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Bountiful gynecologist admits to streaming child porn

By Dennis Romboy, KSL | Posted - Mar 20th, 2018 @ 7:00pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — A Bountiful gynecologist accused in state court of sexually abusing children pleaded guilty to a federal child pornography charge Tuesday.

Nathan Clark Ward, 56, admitted that he streamed video on his smartphone from his home to Robert Edwin Francis in which he lifted up the shirt of a minor to expose her breasts and pulled down her pants to show her genitals between June 2013 and August 2015.

Ward pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography in U.S. District Court. He faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 31.

Francis, 41, of Lehi, admitted in November that he requested sexually explicit images from a Yahoo user named clark_bueno, according to a plea agreement. He admitted he received the images in the form of a live video chat depicting a man sexually abusing a child.

He acknowledged that he viewed child pornography through an online social network and had at least 150 but no more than 300 images of child pornography.

Francis pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography and was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison.

Ward also faces 11 felony charges in 2nd District Court, including sodomy on a child, aggravated sex abuse of a child and forcible sodomy, forcible sex abuse and sexual exploitation of a minor. He is scheduled to be arraigned in state court March 29.

The case started with a tip reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a person had uploaded sexually explicit images of children to the internet, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Ward, who has been in practice for more than 25 years, was a popular doctor specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. He was suspended from Lakeview Hospital after his arrest, which was made following an investigation by the Davis County Sheriff's Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

In his original arrest, a police affidavit states that Ward was being investigated for online conversations in which he allegedly discussed raping young girls, ages 13 and 15, and "describes desires to rape females and minors."

Ward is being held without bail in the Davis County Jail.

Ward and Francis are among 41 child exploitation cases federal prosecutors filed in Utah last year.

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