Prosecutors: Bethpage pediatrician sexually abused girls

MINEOLA - Prosecutors say new sexual abuse charges have been brought against a Bethpage pediatrician who is already accused of videotaping naked young girls.

Today, a Nassau grand jury handed up a 60-page indictment on Dr. Rakesh Punn, accusing him of sexually abusing some of his patients, including girls as young as 11 years old.

Last July, News 12 Long Island first reported that Punn was accused of secretly videotaping at least nine girls.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice says there is now substantial evidence the Bethpage man had been abusing patients from 2007 up until his arrest last year.

Prosecutors say Punn would blindfold some of the girls, give them a sedative and then assault them, claiming it was all part of a medical procedure.

According to prosecutors, Punn also tricked some of his victims into signing a contract saying they were 18 years old and willing to perform sexual acts on him.

Punn is originally from India, and officials say the vast majority of his patients were too. Prosecutors say the reason many of his victims were and maybe still are reluctant to come forward is because in the Indian culture, doctors are rarely questioned and are held in the highest regard.

"He is god-like in his community," Rice says.

Officials believe there may be more victims out there. Anyone with any information on the case is asked to call the Special Victims' Unit at 516-573-7960.

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