LI pediatrician faces new child sex charges

advertisement | advertise on newsday

A Bethpage pediatrician has been indicted on federal charges of sexual exploitation of children and health-care fraud, according to federal court papers.

Rakesh Punn, who has already been charged with similar conduct in Nassau County, is scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Central Islip Wednesday on seven counts of sexual exploitation of children and 29 counts of health-care fraud.

The health-care fraud counts involve allegations that he submitted claims to various insurance companies for legitimate medical procedures and consultations, when he was actually exploiting his patients, according to the indictment filed Friday by federal prosecutor Allen Bode.

The "procedures and consultations had not been conducted for any medically accepted purpose, but rather had been conducted solely for the sexual gratification of the defendant," Bode wrote.

Punn has pleaded not guilty to similar charges in Nassau County, but the charges in federal court carry more severe penalties of up to 30 years in prison,

advertisement | advertise on newsday

An attorney for Punn could not be reached for comment, and Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for Eastern District federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch, declined to comment.

Punn has been held without bail in the Nassau County jail since July 2010 on charges that he drugged and sexually abused females patients as young as 11 years old, and videotaped his actions.

At times he committed the acts while the parents of his patients waited outside, according to Nassau County prosecutors, who are expected to take part in the federal prosecution.

The best of Newsday every day in your inbox. Get the Newsday Now newsletter!

Comments now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: