Bountiful doctor pleads guilty to child sexual abuse

FARMINGTON, Utah — A Bountiful doctor faces 15 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

Nathan Ward reached a plea deal with prosecutors just days before he was to face a trial in Utah’s 2nd District Court. Four other charges were dropped.

Standing in the courtroom wearing a striped prison jumpsuit with shackles around his wrists and ankles, Ward answered, “it is,” when Judge Thomas Kay asked if this is what he wanted to do instead of going to trial.

Ward already faces a sentence of nearly 22 years in federal prison. If a judge decides the sentences should run consecutively, he could spend at least 37 years behind bars.

The deal reached Thursday is practically identical to one Ward backed out of this summer after learning the sentences could run consecutively.

This deal means a victim in the case will not be forced to testify.

Ward is due back in court for a sentencing hearing on February 14.

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