A Long Island pediatrician has been indicted by a grand jury on charges that he sexually abused and assaulted girls as young as 11 years old under the guise of medical examinations, and then secretly videotaped and photographed them.
The 60-count indictment, filed with the court on Monday, charges Rakesh Punn, 53, of Bethpage, with multiple counts of assault, sexual abuse and other charges.
If convicted, Punn faces up to seven years in prison on each of the 28 assault charges. He is scheduled to be arraigned on July 11.
Punn's attorney, Nick Marino, declined to comment on the indictment.
Punn has been in jail on $3.5 million bail since he was originally arrested on July 16, 2010.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said that as early as 2007, Punn obtained video footage and still photographs of at least five young girls in his office. The doctor allegedly asked the girls to take their clothes off, then he asked them to lie on the examining table and covered their eyes with gauze and a blindfold, the indictment charges.
Punn would then videotape or photograph his sexual contact with them, according to the indictment. Investigators say that Punn touched and manipulated the girl’s genitals. In many instances, Punn would give the girls a sedative to render them unconscious, the indictment says.
In other instances, he allegedly had the victim stand in his office, while a small digital camera hidden among objects on his desk recorded video. Punn would then have the victim expose her breasts in various positions while being taped, the indictment says.
Punn committed these acts while telling the girls that these were medically necessary examinations, according to the indictment. Punn also allegedly duped some of the girls into signing a "contract" that said that they were 18 years old and willing to perform numerous sexual acts on Punn.
The victims have told the District Attorney’s Office that they never saw the document they were tricked into signing, said Rice.
In addition to the alleged assaults and sexual abuse, Punn wrote prescriptions for choral-hydrate, a controlled substance, and gave the prescriptions to patients or another person, according to the indictment.
He would then trick the patients into filling prescriptions and bringing them back to him, under the guise of compounding a special drug or "checking" the prescription, the indictment charges.
Punn then secretly removed the bottle of chloral-hydrate and kept it for himself, according to the district attorney's office. Investigators executed a search warrant of his office and found three bottles of chloral-hydrate with prescription labels in patient's names.
A search of Punn's home also revealed a large amount of cash and a forged international driver’s license with his photo, but a false name and birth date.
“This trusted pediatrician turned his office into a house of horrors for many young girls, and I am asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this sexual predator to contact my office immediately,” Rice said.
The investigation began with a tip to the DA’s Office and is being investigated by the DA Squad and members of the NCPD’s Crimes Against Property Squad. Rice is asking anyone who believes that they might have been a victim of Punn to contact the NCPD’s Special Victim’s Unit, please call (516) 573-7960.