Bountiful doctor withdraws plea deal in child porn case

FARMINGTON, Utah — A prominent Bountiful doctor charged with producing, possessing, and distributing child pornography was supposed to learn his fate Thursday when sentencing took an unexpected turn.

Former OB/GYN Nathan Ward pleaded guilty, but when the judge handed down his sentence, Ward and his attorney, Ed Brass, changed their minds.

Ward pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual abuse of a child, signing a deal shackled in chains. Ward is accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old girl while producing child pornography in his Lehi home.

The mother of the victim broke down in tears, calling Ward “the devil in scrubs and white shirts.” She went on to say, “he’s not only a liar, but a sick man who created a false world to cover up his true deviancy.”

Then 2nd District court judge, Thomas Kay, asked if Ward had anything to say and he said no. However, the judge wouldn’t let him off the hook, asking how could this have happened?

“I dabbled with pornography a long time ago and it was something that I’ve tried to kick and it has led me down a slippery slope to hell,” says Ward.

The judge then asked how this has impacted his family.

“I’ve let many, many people down. I’ve embarrassed my parents, my brothers and sisters, my nieces and nephews,” says Ward.

When it was time for sentencing, the judge recommended the maximum sentence of 15 years to life in prison which would run consecutive to the federal charges Ward pleaded guilty to in July. That sentence was just two months short of 22 years.

“I think it’s too serious to do this concurrently,” says Kay.

However, the plea deal said the sentences were supposed to run concurrently.

“He’s permitted, if the court doesn’t follow the party’s plea agreement, to withdraw his plea so I move to withdraw his plea,” says Brass.

The deal is now off the table. There will now be a pre-trial hearing which is scheduled for August 9th. The minimum sentence will now be 25 years to life in prison.