Bountiful OBGYN now facing federal charges for producing child porn

Three other men arrested by DOJ for making child porn

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A Bountiful doctor accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a teen girl now faces three federal felony charges. 

Nathan Ward, 55, former physician at Lakeview Hospital, was indicted for allegedly producing, possessing and distributing child porn.

According to the paperwork filed in the US District Court and unsealed September 15, the OBGYN coerced a child born in 1998 to make pornography, knowing it would be sent to others online. 

"Child pornography, in the sense of what we are talking about today, is the video and audio recording of sexual violence and abuse upon children," US Attorney John Huber said.

Court papers show Dr. Ward sexually exploited the victim on camera for weeks after his initial arrest in June. That's before the physician was charged with 11 state felonies, including sodomy on a child, aggravated sex abuse of a child and sexual exploitation of a minor.

Investigators said the case also led to the arrest 41-year-old Robert Francis of Lehi. 

"It's not stranger danger anymore. The lesson to learn is it is people who are close to children," Special Agent in Charge Steve Cagen said, Homeland Security Investigations.

Federal court documents claim Ward and Francis talked about taking sexually explicit photos of two children and shared them online. 

Investigators claim Ward used computers at hospitals to download child porn and send messages in dark web chat rooms. 

He's also accused of bragging online about raping two 13 and 15-year-old girls.

While he wouldn't get specific on Ward's case, Huber said pedophiles often team up online.

"We find that on internet chat rooms and associated groups, they find each other and then they embolden one another, they reinforce one another. They fool themselves into thinking this is somehow normal behavior," Huber said. 

Both Ward and Francis pleaded not guilty in federal court last week and will go to trial later this fall.

The Department of Justice arrested two other men who admitted to making and sharing child porn. 

Geoffry Cheney, 26, of Logan will serve 25 years in federal prison. He was sentenced last week after admitting he used his phone to take sexually explicit images of his 8-month old daughter. Cheney then sent the photos to an undercover agent. 

Clayne Haskins, 52, of St. George admitted to taking sexually explicit pictures of a child while traveling out of the country. Investigators were tipped off when he took his phone to be repaired by a technician. Haskins will be sentenced in December. 

Investigators ask parents to have the difficult conversation about child pornography with their children. 

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