A sex abuse victim and her mother are suing a Utah hospital after a gynecologist that worked there live-streamed abuse of the girl when she was 13 years old.
They allege that Lakeview hospital, Bountiful, bears some responsibility for the girl’s harm as it allowed employees, including attacker Nathan Ward, to illegally take and store drugs.
In the lawsuit they allege the married doctor, who used hospital drugs on his victim, subjected her to six years of abuse starting when she was 11 years old.
Ward was sentenced to 37 years behind bars last year.
He was charged with 11 counts of child sex abuse including possession of child pornography, sexual exploitation of a minor, sodomy on a child, aggravated sexual abuse of a child, forcible sodomy and forcible sex abuse.
Gynecologist Nathan Clark Ward, 57, was sentenced to 37 years behind bars last year after being charged with 11 counts of child sex abuse
The lawsuit states that if the thefts had been properly investigated, reports the Salt Lake Tribune, Ward’s actions would have been revealed sooner.
The hospital and its parent company, Morning Star, are also accused of failing to notify the ‘proper authorities’ and violating industry standards.
Financial compensation, including punitive damages and attorney fees, is being sought by the pair.
Responding to the legal action, the hospital said Ward was fired in 2017 after the crimes came to light.
They added that they will ‘vigorously defend ourselves’ in the lawsuit.
The victim alleges that Ward began six years of abuse against her when she was 11 years old and used drugs from the hospital.
In 2012 he live-streamed himself removing the girl’s clothes when she was 13 years old.
His victim and her mother, who alleges the abuse started when she was 11 years old, are suing his workplace Lakeview Hospital, Bountiful, Utah. They claim it bears responsibility as it did not investigate drug thefts onsite. Drugs stolen from the hospital were used on the girl by Ward
Ward was arrested in 2017 and accused of 11 counts of child sex abuse.
He was also charged with sharing at least six images of child porn between January and September 2016.
It followed an eight-month investigation conducted by the Internet Crimes Against Children task force which found the images had been uploaded from computers at Lakeview Hospital and St Mark’s Hospital, where Ward worked.
His college student victim said in a statement during his sentencing hearing last year: ‘The day you were arrested was the day I finally knew it was over, that I could finally breathe.
‘That day the weight was lifted from my shoulders and I hope it came crashing down on you. You took too much from me.’
Ward was arrested in 2017 and charged with 11 counts of child sex abuse including possession of child pornography, sexual exploitation of a minor, sodomy on a child, aggravated sexual abuse of a child, forcible sodomy and forcible sex abuse
Her mother said that Ward’s actions had fractured her family.
‘[You] will be the object of horror because of what you’ve done to her,’ the mother said, while noting her daughter is a warrior who will fight to recover.
‘We are finally free from your control,’ she said.
In his sentencing hearing Judge Thomas Kay blamed pornography for Ward’s abuse of power and sex crimes.
‘The abundance, the access through the internet and everything else, has had more people looking at pornography in our society and acting it out in a later time,’ Kay said, reflecting on what he’s seen in his two decades on the bench.
‘Our society has gotten so much coarser and meaner and worse than it was 20 years ago.’
In July, Ward was sentenced to serve 262 months (nearly 22 years) in federal prison in Colorado for the same acts.
The following month, Ward initially pleaded guilty to the state charges against him, saying at that time, ‘Unfortunately, I dabbled with pornography a long time ago and it’s something that I’ve tried to kick, and it has led me down a slippery slope to hell.’
The combined state and federal sentences mean that Ward may be anywhere between ages 85 and 93 when he’s released, depending on determinations of parole authorities
After entering the plea, however, Ward withdrew the admission when he learned whatever sentence he received would be stacked on top of it rather than running concurrently with his federal prison sentence.
In January, he pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual abuse of the teen, which is a first-degree felony, in exchange for having four other felony charges dropped.
He also promised to drop the appeal of his federal conviction.
Ward, who had been a practicing OB-GYN for more than 25 years, was working at both the Saint Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City and Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful at the time.
An ICAC detective first met with Ward in February 2017, but the doctor denied knowing anything about the clark_bueno account or the photos.
But in May police discovered that the account, created in 2002, was opened at the same address where Ward was living at the time and had the same date of birth.
Six IP addresses from Lakeview and St. Mark’s Hospital, as well as Ward’s current residence, were also connected to the account, police revealed.
Seven of the 37 photos provided by Yahoo were of sexually exploited children, while others included ‘voyeuristic photos of underage females’.
The investigation also unearthed ‘several’ conversations conducted on instant messenger, email, and Craigslist that were ‘explicit in nature’, police said.
In one conversation Ward allegedly disclosed he ‘raped a 15-year-old drunk on vodka after her father ‘set it up’, according to the probable cause report.
The report states that Ward also disclosed he ‘raped a 13-year-old’ and described ‘desires to rape females and minors’.
The doctor, who previously worked as a staff physician for 13 years in the Air Force, was suspended from Lakeview Hospital following his first arrest.