A Long Island pediatrician has pleaded not guilty to charges that he drugged young girls and sexually abused them, videotaping and photographing the acts.
Rakesh Punn, of Bethpage, N.Y., was arraigned Friday on 60 counts, including 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.
Prosecutor Jane Zwirn-Turkin said he kept a file on his computer titled "Sex" that described how he preferred 11- to 14-year-olds, and chose kids with "poorly educated parents."
Punn's attorney, Nick Marino, says his client's plea speaks for itself and says they will vigorously fight the charges.
Punn has been in jail on $3.5 million bail since he was originally arrested on July 16, 2010. Bail was increased Friday to $5 million.
Prosecutors said that as early as 2007, Punn was asking girls to take their clothes off, then asking them to lie on the examining table as he covered their eyes with gauze and a blindfold.
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 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.