Former Bountiful doctor pleads guilty to production of child pornography

Nathan Ward appears in court August 11, 2017.

SALT LAKE CITY – 56-year-old Nathan Clark Ward of Bountiful pleaded guilty to charges related to child pornography production Tuesday.

Ward admitted Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court that he had used a smartphone to stream live videos that depicted children in various states of undress from his home in Lehi between June 2013 and Aug. 2015.

A federal grand jury indicted Ward in Sept. of 2017, charging him with production of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and distribution of child pornography.

The case began with a tip reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), saying that an individual had uploaded sexually explicit images of children on the internet.

“Ward admitted that in some of the videos he lifted the shirt of a minor and in others pulled down the minor’s pants,” a press release made by United States Attorney John W. Huber said.

Ward faces a maximum conviction of 30 years in prison, with a 15-year mandatory sentence. Sentencing was set for May 31.

The investigation into Ward led law enforcement officials to an additional suspect, Robin Edwin Francis, 41, of Lehi, Utah. Francis is currently serving a 144-month sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty to receipt of child pornography. He was sentenced on Jan. 22.

“Ward and Francis represent two of 41 child exploitation cases filed by federal prosecutors in Utah during 2017,” the press release stated.  “Several local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in Utah contributed to the case.”