LI doc faces molestation charges, Town Hall bomb threat a hoax, Arrest made in Hempstead home invasion & other LI news stories for January 12th, 2012

Long Island Doctor Faces Federal Molestation Charges; Bomb Threat on Islip Town Hall a Hoax, Police Catch Coram Robbery in Progress; Arrest Made in Violent Hempstead Home Invasion

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Long Island Doctor Faces Federal Molestation Charges

A Long Island pediatrician has been charged in state court for sexually abusing young female patients and now faces federal charges. Rakesh Punn pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday afternoon and is being held on $10 million bond. Punn is accused of videotaping, photographing and otherwise abusing girls as young as 11 years-old. Authorities report finding a “how-to book” written by Punn on his computer. Punn would videotape or photography his sexual encounters with the girls, many time giving them sedatives so they lay unconscious during the encounter. In other instances a small digital camera sat amongst other objects on his desk recording as her asked the girls to expose their breasts. He has assured the girls that these mere medically necessary examinations. Federal charges against Punn include accusations of filing fraudulent insurance claims for victims he allegedly molested. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted on federal charges.

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Bomb Threat on Islip Town Hall a Hoax

Islip Town Hall was evacuated Wednesday morning after a bomb threat was made on the building stating that an explosive device would detonate at 11am. The threatening phone call was received at 9:50am and was a part of a larger threat that included Suffolk County’s Department of Social Services in Hauppauge. Suffolk County Police searched Town Hall and upon finding no evidence of an explosive reopened at noon. The motivation behind the bomb threats is not immediately known.

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Police Catch Coram Robbery In Progress

A police officer who had been patrolling a Coram neighborhood in responsible for stopping a robbery in progress at the local 7-11. Armed with a hammer, Christopher Degennaro entered the 7-11 demanding that the cashier lay on the ground and then proceeded to approach the cash register. Patrol Officer Steven Pancir entered the store after witnessing the robbery in progress and took Degennaro into custody. Degennaro is charged with Attempted Robbery 1st Degree.

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Arrest Made in Violent Hempstead Home Invasion

Nassau County police have arrested one of the three suspects involved in Sunday’s home invasion and subsequent rape in Hempstead. Three men broke into the Hempstead home and bound two of the three occupants in one apartment. Two suspects brought the third occupant into the bathroom and sexually assaulted her. In mean the time the residents of another apartment in the house were also bound and one woman suffered a seizure during the incident. Wiseallah Hightower-Castro faces rape, robbery and burglary charges among others. Police are still on the lookout for Hightower-Castro’s two alleged accomplices. Police ask anyone with information to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.

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