A Lehi man already serving time for child pornography faces new charges. This all started with the arrest of a Bountiful doctor earlier this year. Robert Edwin Francis hasn’t even been sentenced yet for his first case. That’s set for January 2018. But as of December 27th, 2017, in addition to that, he’s now facing four new felony sex abuse charges.
November 30th, 2017 according to court documents, Francis took a plea agreement, a guilty plea to be sentenced less than 144 months for his involvement of knowingly receiving child pornography. The investigation stemmed from a case with Bountiful doctor Nathan Ward who was charged with sex abuse and sex exploitation.
Court documents, in that case, said two screen names “discussed sexually abusing and sharing sexually explicit photos of children.”
Francis is behind bars in Tooele County for that case and was charged with four new felonies on December 27th, 2017 as well as two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and two counts of forcible sexual abuse. “This dates back about six or seven years, but yes these are brand new charges.” Lance Bastian is the Deputy Utah County Attorney. He said the alleged victim recently confided to a hospital nurse. “She made a disclosure to the nurse which then caused a reporting party to go ahead and contact law enforcement about it.”
According to court documents the alleged abuse started back in 2010 or 2011, the girl was just eight or nine years old, she said the abuse continued for several years. Bastian said Francis and the alleged victim knew each other. ‘I don’t have any reason to believe that there would be other victims in this case.”
Francis is scheduled to be back in court January 25th, 2018 to be sentenced for the child pornography case.
Ward is scheduled for a roll call hearing January 19th, 2018.