NY pediatrician accused of molesting young girls

Rakesh Punn is accused of molesting his young female patients
WCBS, Nassau County District Attorneyâ

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A New York pediatrician already charged in state court with sexually abusing young female patients is now facing federal charges.

Rakesh Punn entered a not guilty plea Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court on Long Island.

He is charged in a 36-count federal indictment with sexual exploitation of children and health care fraud.

His attorney declined to comment.

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Punn had previously been charged in Nassau County. He is being held on $10 million bond.

Punn is accused of secretly videotaping, photographing and abusing young patients while they were naked. Authorities found a "how-to book" on molestation he wrote on his computer. CBS station WCBS in New York reported that some of his victims were as young as 11.

According to WCBS, prosecutors said that Punn sometimes covered the girls' eyes with gauze or gave them a sedative before he molested them. He told the girls that these "procedures" were medically necessary. He would not allow parents in the room, and because he was a doctor, they trusted him.

"This trusted pediatrician turned his office into a house of horrors for many young girls," District Attorney Kathleen Rice told radio station 1010 WINS in New York.

The federal charges include accusations he filed fraudulent insurance claims for victims he allegedly molested.

He faces up to 30 years in prison on the federal charges.