Detroit emergency room doctor charged with performing female genital mutilation

- A Northville doctor was charged on Thursday with performing female genital mutilation on minor girls out of a Livonia medical office.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala performed the procedure on girls between the ages of 6 and 8 years old. The complaint states that some members of a religion across the world have the procedure done to reduce sexual pleasure and promiscuity.

The federal document claims that children from other states were brought to Dr. Nagarwala to undergo the operations. Two victims from Minnesota stayed at a hotel in Farmington Hills in February. One of the girls is 11 years old and told authorities that they came to the Detroit area for a "special" girls trip, and when they arrived at the hotel she and the other young girl had to go to the doctor because "their tummies hurt."

While at the doctor's office, she said a procedure was done to "get the germs out." She identified Nagarwala as the woman who performed the operation. She also said that she was told not to talk about the procedure.

A doctor in Minnesota performed an examination of the girl pursuant to a search warrant. The doctor said the girl's genitals were not normal and observed scar tissue and healing lacerations.

The other girl, 7, said she got a shot in her upper right thigh. She also told officials that she was told not to talk about what happened. A Minnesota doctor performed an operation and discovered the 7 year old also had her genitals altered.

The younger girl said she left a glove in the medical clinic. This week, a search warrant was executed and the girl's glove - which had her name on it - was found in the clinic.

Child Protective Services and a federal agent interviewed the younger girl's parents on Monday of this week. Her parents said they went to Detroit for a "cleansing" of extra skin.

Through the investigation, officials say they've identified other children who may have had the operation performed on them between 2005 and 2007, including children in Michigan. CPS in Michigan and the FBI interviewed several minor girls about the procedure. Multiple girls all said that the doctor performed the operations on them. Some of the parents also confirmed that happened as well.

"Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls. It is also a serious federal felony in the United States. The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law," stated Acting United States Attorney Daniel Lemisch.

"According to the complaint, despite her oath to care for her patients, Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco. "The Department of Justice is committed to stopping female genital mutilation in this country, and will use the full power of the law to ensure that no girls suffer such physical and emotional abuse."

FGM is described in many ways including as a partial or total removal of the clitoris for nonmedical purposes.

The federal document says the doctor knew that female genital mutilation is illegal. She said she has no knowledge of it being performed by anyone and that she never performed on anyone, including minors.

Nagarwala will have her detention hearing on Monday to see if she is granted bond. Her attorney and prosecutors did not care to comment. The criminal complaint did not make any mention if the parents will face any charges.


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