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Long IslandCrime

Ex-pediatrician Rakesh Punn sentenced for sex abuse again

Former Bethpage pediatrician Rakesh Punn outside Nassau County

Former Bethpage pediatrician Rakesh Punn outside Nassau County Court in Mineola on Monday, July 11, 2011. Punn, who is serving a 30-year sentence in federal prison, was sentenced to 15 years on state charges for drugging and sexually abusing young girls at his medical office, prosecutors said on Monday, April 11, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday file / Howard Schnapp

A former Bethpage pediatrician who had already been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sexual abuse has also been sentenced to 15 years in prison on state charges, for drugging and sexually abusing young girls at his medical office — one as young as 11, prosecutors said Monday.

The sentences against Rakesh Punn, 58, will be served concurrently, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.

Punn had been arrested on July 16, 2010, on charges he drugged, sexually abused and videotaped young female patients in his office, Singas said. He pleaded guilty to the charges on Sept. 5, 2014, and was sentenced Friday by Supreme Court Justice William Donnino, Singas said.

As a condition of his plea to two counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance and one count of first-degree sexual abuse authorities said Punn will be required to register as a sex offender at the completion of his sentence and must forfeit $2.1 million — the amount of the “criminal proceeds” from his medical practice used to help him commit his crimes.

Punn had previously pleaded guilty in November 2012 to second-degree grand larceny, two counts of third-degree welfare fraud and first-degree scheme to defraud for stealing $120,000 in taxpayer money and, Singas said, he was sentenced on March 8 to 3 years imprisonment. He also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $103,000.

Additionally, Punn pleaded guilty to the federal sexual abuse charges in April 2015 — and, in December, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

“This sexual predator intentionally targeted children of Indian immigrants — families that came here to create a better life for their kids,” Singas said in a statement. “The defendant lured these children to his home office, under the guise of false diagnoses so that parents weren’t present, and used drugs to incapacitate the victims. He would then sexually assault and photograph them. Working with our federal partners we have ensured that this defendant will spend decades of his life behind bars paying for his crimes.”

Singas said Punn told his patients the exams were medically necessary. She also said that, as early as 2007, Punn had obtained video footage and still photographs of “at least five young girls” in his office.

In some of those cases, she said, Punn would have the victims disrobe, lie on an examination table and cover their eyes with gauze and a blindfold — all as he photographed or taped his sexual contact with them.

During its investigation, Singas said the district attorney’s office found that Punn had “assisted numerous friends, family members, and patients in falsifying personal information on applications for medical coverage under the taxpayer-funded Child Health Plus and Medicaid programs.”

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