By JENNIFER EVANS
1:27 PM EDT, June 29, 2011
MINEOLA, N.Y. (PIX11)
A Long Island pediatrician has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of sexual abuse of girls as young as 11-years old, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced Wednesday.
Dr. Rakesh Punn, 53, of Bethpage was previously charged nearly a year ago for secretly videotaping young female patients while they were naked in his office.
This week, Punn was charged with 28 counts of assault in the second degree,10 counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, 3 counts of promoting sexual performance by a child,1 count of possessing a sexual performance by a child, 6 counts of unlawful surveillance in the second degree, 7 counts of fraudulently obtaining a signature and 1 count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the third degree.
Punn faces up to 7 years for each of the 28 assault charges, if convicted. His bail was set at $3.5 million on July 16, 2010 when he was originally arrested.
According to Rice, pediatrician perv allegedly would obtain his video footage and photographs in two different ways. One involved having the girls disrobe, lie on the examining table, and then Punn would blindfold them. He would video tape his contact with them, often touching the girls inappropriately. On many accounts, Punn would use a sedative to render the girls unconscious.
The other method involved having a hidden camera videotape the young girls while they stood naked in his office. The girls were told it was part of necessary medical examinations. He then convinced the girls to sign a “contract” that stated they were 18-years old and willing to perform different sexual acts on him. However, according to investigators, the girls never saw the actual contract they were signing.
On top of the sexual abuse, Punn also had prescriptions filled for choral-hydrate, a controlled substance. He would write the prescriptions and have patients fill them and bring the prescriptions back to him. After a search warrant was issued for his office, police found multiple bottles of chloral-hydrate with patient’s names on the labels.
Another search warrant for his house revealed a large amount of cash as well as a fake international driver’s license with Punn’s picture and 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. Anyone who believes that they might have been a victim of Dr. Punn should contact the NCPD’s Special Victim’s Unit at (516) 573-7960.
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