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PRESS RELEASE: Pediatrician Rakesh K. Punn Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Sexual Exploitation of Children

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Pediatrician Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Sexual Exploitation of Children

A pediatrician was sentenced to 30 years in prison to be followed by lifetime supervised release for sexual exploitation of minors, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers of the Eastern District of New York announced today.

In April 2014, Rakesh K. Punn, 57, of Bethpage, New York, pleaded guilty to producing child pornography. In connection with his plea, Punn admitted that in September 2007, he sexually exploited a minor pediatric patient during a medical appointment at his home-office in Bethpage. Punn falsely diagnosed the child with an illness so that he could obtain unfettered access to her without her parents being present and then drugged and secretly photographed the girl. At sentencing, the court found that Punn engaged in a pattern of similar conduct with other patients and enhanced his sentence accordingly.

Punn awaits sentencing on state charges also related to this conduct.

Trial Attorney Amy Larson of the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen L. Bode of the Eastern District of New York prosecuted this case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

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