Rockland eye doctor convicted of sexually abusing a child

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BARDONIA -

A Rockland County eye doctor has been convicted of sexually abusing a 12-year-old.

According to documents, the incident involving Dr. Hiten Lakhani happened in August of 2012. The documents reveal the victim came forward to police in 2016, telling authorities Lakhani inappropriately touched her and took lewd photos of her.

News 12 has learned that the victim was not a patient of Lakhani's.

The ophthalmologist has been practicing for more than 20 years and is licensed in both New York and New Jersey, according to state records.

News 12 spoke with the executive director of the Center for Safety and Change in Rockland. Counselors at the center work with abuse victims and say often times it's difficult to come forward, but can be encouraging to others.

"The little girl is extremely brave and any and every victim that comes forth is brave just by coming forth," says executive director Elizabeth Santiago.

Lakhani is still seeing patients in his Bardonia office despite his conviction. He is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

The Center for Safety and Change in Rockland County has a 24-hour hotline if anyone is experiencing something like this scenario. The number is 845-634-3344.

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