MINEOLA, N.Y. – A New York pediatrician already accused of secretly videotaped young female patients has been indicted on new charges that he sexually abused and assaulted some of them, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Some of the victims were as young as 11, and were allegedly drugged with sedatives and blindfolded during the assaults, according to a statement by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.
Dr. Rakesh Punn, 53, of Bethpage is scheduled to be arraigned July 11 on a 60-count indictment charging him with sexual abuse, assault, promoting a sexual performance by a child, unlawful surveillance and other crimes.
His attorney did not immediately return a call for comment, but said after his client was arrested in July 2010 that the physician was innocent of accusations that he secretly videotaped girls while they were naked in his office. Punn has been held on $3.5 million bail on those charges.
After he was arrested, authorities said they found a large amount of cash and a forged international driver's license with his photo, but a false name and birthdate.
"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 in a statement.
The prosecutor said that beginning in 2007, Punn compiled video and still photos of at least five young girls in his office. After having them disrobe, he covered their eyes with gauze and a blindfold and placed them on an examining table, Rice said. He would then videotape or photograph his sexual contact with them. In many instances, Punn would give the girls a sedative to render them unconscious, she said.
At other times, Punn allegedly placed a small digital camera among items on his desk and then recorded victims exposing their breasts, Rice added. She said the girls were told they were being given medically necessary examinations.
Punn also is accused of running a prescription scam for obtaining chloral hydrate, a controlled substance that he then allegedly kept for himself.