LI pediatrician accused of videotaping young girls

Dr. Rakesh Punn

July 16, 2010 2:28:24 PM PDT
A Long Island pediatrician is facing child pornography charges after allegedly videotaping young girls he had disrobe under the guise of medical examinations.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced Friday that 52-year-old Dr. Rakesh Punn, who is also a federally authorized civil surgeon, has been charged with producing child pornography by having girls as young as 11 years old undress before secretly videotaping and photographing them.

Civil surgeons are authorized to perform certified health exams and immunizations on immigrants applying for a change in status.

Dr. Punn is charged with promoting a sexual performance by a child, possession of a sexual performance by a child, possession of a forged instrument and unlawful surveillance. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison for each confirmed victim.

Rice is asking anyone who believes that they might have been a victim of Dr. Punn to contact the NCPD's Special Victim's Unit at (516) 573-7960.

Rice said that as early as 2007, Dr. Punn obtained video footage of at least five young girls in his office. She says Dr. Punn would get video footage in two different manners. First, he would have them get naked, lie on the examining table, and then, covering their eyes with gauze and a blindfold, he would videotape his sexual contact with them. Investigators say that Dr. Punn touched and manipulated the girl's genitals.

In other instances, he would have the girl stand in his office, while a small digital camera hidden among objects on his desk recorded video. Punn would then have the girl expose her breasts in various positions while being taped.

A search of Dr. Punn's home revealed a large amount of cash and a forged international driver's license with his photo, but a false name and birth date.

"He victimized these trusting, young girls in the worse way imaginable," Rice said. "The long term damage he has caused to untold numbers of patients is still yet to be seen. This is a horrifying case of betrayal by a medical professional. I strongly encourage anyone who feels they may have been a victim of Dr. Punn to contact the Nassau County Police Department immediately."