A Bethpage pediatrician is facing more than a dozen years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to sexually exploiting three minors and taking photos of their nude body parts, while also filing phony insurance claims under the guise of medical treatment.
Federal prosecutors said between September 2007 and January 2008, 56-year-old Rakesh Punn exploited the three young females and submitted false insurance claims for medical treatment that never occurred. Instead, the “procedures” had been conducted solely for “sexual gratification,” prosecutors alleged in its January 2012 indictment.
“We trust doctors—especially pediatricians—to care for our children,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “The defendant took advantage of that trust in the most egregious manner.”
In doing so, Lynch added, Punn “betrayed his oath as a licensed physician.”
The Bethpage doctor, who ran his office out of his home, was initially arrested by Nassau County police in July 2010 and charged with child pornography and unlawful surveillance. Those charges are still pending.
Two years later, federal prosecutors filed their own indictment for sexual exploitation of children and health care fraud. He has been in custody since his initial arrest.
He’s facing 15 to 30 years in prison.