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News Worms


Detroit doctor charged with female genital mutilation ordered to jail

Detroit doctor charged with female genital mutilation ordered to jail

In what officials say is a first-of-its kind federal case targeting the practice of genital mutilation, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, 44, of Northville, Mich., was charged Thursday with mutilating the genitals of two girls, although authorities say they believe she has subjected numerous more girls to the procedure, including children in the metro Detroit area. What about those conclusions, she asked the defense.

Smith said Nagarwala is a member of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a Muslim sect concentrated mostly in India. According to WHO, there are no health or sanitary benefits to FGM, and it harms the victims. The doctor reportedly told the girl she was going to perform a procedure to "get the germs out" of her body. She is now being held in federal custody without bail because she is considered a flight risk and a danger to other children.

In court Monday, the government painted a much different portrait of Nagarwala, saying she performed female genital mutilation on several young girls over the years, directed them to keep it quiet and encouraged their parents to lie to authorities when investigators started asking questions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that in 2012, at least 513,000 women and girls in the USA had undergone or were at risk of being subjected to FGM.

Nagarwala's case is the first to be brought in the USA under a federal law criminalizing the practice.

Nagarwala was also charged with transportation of an individual with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and lying to a federal agent. What is evident is that an FGM religious ceremony that is accepted and performed regularly in other countries is now prevalent in the United States. According to courtroom testimony, Nagarwala, a US citizen, was born in Washington, D.C., is married and has four children, two of whom live in Africa.

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The alleged criminal activity did not occur at any Henry Ford facility.

Nagarwala earned her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1998, according to the Henry Ford Health Systems website. She stated that she was brought to Detroit for "special girls trip".

According to prosecutors, Nagarwala was arrested Thursday while boarding an global flight to Kenya, where she was going to visit a daughter.

The girls had been taken to Nagarwala, who performed the procedure on the girls.

The mothers rented a hotel room in Farmington Hills, checked in on that day and checked out the next day.

According to Woodward, authorities interviewed the owner of the Livonia clinic, who said that Nagarwala often used the clinic on Friday and Saturday nights - after it was closed - to treat children for genital rashes.

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Nagarwala may have performed other genital mutilations in 2005 and 2007, according to the complaint. Investigators also found a glove belonging to one of the girls in the same clinic.

According to the Detroit News, the children said the procedure was painful, they cried, and one said the pain extended to her ankles. She asked Nagarwala for advice on what she should say.

For Sree Kamojjala, president of the Indian Association of Minnesota, the case of the MI doctor is both shocking and deplorable, he said, stressing that genital mutilation "is not a Hindu practice" or a condoned practice in India.

The judge concluded she was a danger to the community and a flight risk after hearing arguments from both sides.

Female genital mutilation, which experts say is practiced in 30 countries worldwide and has been performed on 200 million women living today, is illegal in the US.

According to court records, she, volunteered to be interviewed by a Homeland Security agent and MI child protective services personnel. The doctor has immediately been placed on administrative leave. In countries such as Djibouti, Egypt and Somalia, more than 90% of girls undergo some form of genital mutilation, some during infancy.

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