Police: Bountiful doctor denied knowledge of possession in child porn case

BOUNTIFUL, UTAH —
(KUTV) A Utah doctor, who has been arrested for suspicion of seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, is out on bail.

Nathan Ward, 55, of Bountiful, is an OB/GYN doctor who was booked into the Davis County Jail Wednesday afternoon.

Bail was set at $100,000, according to police records. On Wednesday evening he bonded out of jail after posting $10,000.

The Davis County Sheriff’s Department had been investigating Ward since November 2016, according to an arrest report 2News acquired on Thursday morning.

The eight-month child pornography investigation began with Internet Crimes against Children Task Force.

On Nov. 24, the task force got a tip from Yahoo Inc. of apparent child sexually exploitative images uploaded from a Yahoo account. In February, police approached Ward at Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful where he worked.

“He denied knowledge of the account or associated images,” according to police records.

Follow up investigations showed the IP addresses were linked to: Lakeview Hospital, Saint Marks Hospital, and Intermountain Healthcare or Ward’s home.

The probable cause documents outlined the nature of the images that involved sexual contact between prepubescent children, and adults with underage males and females. The document said two suspects were initially identified. After one suspect gave consent to have his electronics examined by a forensic laboratory, no exploitative material was found and no Yahoo account evidence was located. That person, whose name is redacted in the documents, was eliminated as a suspect.

Yahoo provided a response to a warrant that yielded six additional IP addresses connect to hospitals where Ward worked and his residence. The document also states Yahoo provided 37 images associated with the account that included seven child sexually exploitative images. Other images were of family members, voyeuristic photos of underage females and a selfie. They were uploaded from various hospitals or at Ward’s residence, according to the document.

The document also outlined some conversations that were sexually explicit involving underage teen girls and rape. The document asked for a no bail, stating that there was a “significant amount of other chats and emails” that investigators need to review and said there the suspect has a high net worth and is a flight risk.

Following the arrest, Lakeview Clinic has removed Ward’s bio from their website.

At the time Ward’s biography was available it listed Ward as an OB/GYN doctor. It stated he was a specialist in women’s healthcare. It also said he worked as a staff physician in the Air Force for 13 years.

“We never stop investigating in case there are other victims out there,” said Sgt. DeeAnn Servey with the Davis County Sheriff’s Department.

A spokesperson with Lakeview OB/GYN Clinic issued a statement on Thursday morning:

Our primary focus at this point is to ensure that Dr. Ward’s patients get the care they need, and our staff is diligently working to make that happen. Due to the seriousness of the allegations against Dr. Ward, he has been suspended as a precautionary measure. We are also assisting law enforcement with their investigation.
Sexual exploitation of a minor in Utah is a second-degree felony, that, according to Utah criminal code. It is defined as when a person “knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses with intent to distribute child pornography; or intentionally distributes or views child pornography; or if the person is a minor’s parent or legal guardian and knowingly consents to or permits the minor to be sexually exploited.”

A court date has not been set.

Source: http://kjzz.com/news/local/police-bountiful-doctor-denied-knowledge-of-possession-in-child-porn-case