Published: Fri, April 14, 2017
Life&Culture | By Ted Wilson

Detroit doctor arrested for performing female genital mutilation

Detroit doctor arrested for performing female genital mutilation

The Department of Justice has charged a MI doctor with allegedly performing female genitalia mutilation (FGM) on girls ages 6 to 8, papers filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of MI revealed.

Jumana Nagarwala, 44, of Northville, was charged in U.S. District Court in Detroit with female genital mutilation, transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and making a false statement to a federal officer.

The practice was outlawed in the U.S.in 1996, but prosecutors said this case is believed to be the first in which federal charges were brought under that law.

' despite her oath to care for her patients, Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims, ' Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco of the Justice Department's Criminal Division said in a statement yesterday.

Nagarwala appeared in court on Thursday and was ordered held in jail until another hearing on Monday.

Henry Ford Health Systems, where Nagarwala works, issued a statement Thursday in response to the charges. Some cultures believe the painful procedures will initiate girls into adulthood or ensure their virginity or fidelity, according to Equality Now, a human rights organization.

One of the children told an investigator this week that they were in MI to see a doctor because "our tummies hurt", and were examined by Nagarwala.

The girls' mothers were with them during the procedure, according to the FBI, which conducted the investigation. According to the criminal complaint filed, one of the minor girls allegedly told investigators she had been brought to Nagarwala for a procedure "to get the germs out". Her victims are minor girls, some as young as six years old.

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In 2012, Congress passed a law making it illegal to transport a girl outside the United States for the goal of performing FGM. Twenty-five U.S. states also have laws prohibiting the practice.

According to the court document cited by the paper, Nagarwala agreed to an interview with investigators but has denied taking part in any criminal activity. The specific cases claim that a pair of girls traveled from MI to Minnesota in order to see the doctor in February.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 513,000 women and girls in the United States in 2012 were at risk of or had been subjected to female genital mutilation or cutting.

Weli said girls and women who have had FGM pay a high price for a ritual. The girl also said she was told to not talk about the procedure. "Her parents claim that they took her to the clinic for a "'cleansing' of extra skin".

Another young victim described experiencing unbearable pain and being unable to walk after her own "procedure".

'It is also a serious federal felony in the United States.

The same child victim reportedly underwent a medical exam on April 11, during which a doctor noticed her genitals had been "altered or removed", WXYZ-TV reported. She is charged with three felonies: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and conspiracy; and making a false statement to a federal officer, according to the criminal complaint filed Wednesday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of MI.

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