2nd doctor arrested, wife charged in connection with female genital mutilation investigation
(WJBK) - A second doctor has been arrested in connection with a female genital mutilation investigation in Detroit.
Fakhruddin Attar, 53, and his wife, Farida Attar, 50, of Livonia, were both arrested and have been charged with conspiring to perform female genital mutilations on minor girls out of Dr. Attar's medical clinic in Livonia.
Both husband and wife were arrested Friday morning and are due in court later this afternoon.
Authorities say Dr. Attar owned Burhani Medical Clinic in Livonia, which is where a Detroit emergency room doctor who was arrested last week is accused of performing FGM on minor girls. Authorities say Dr. Attar's wife is employed at Burhani Medical Clinic as an office manager. Authorities believe the husband and wife arranged and assisted in the FGM procedures performed by the Detroit doctor, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala.
Dr. Attar's attorney, Mary Chartie, said that they weren't surprised they were arrested.
"These are individuals who have no criminal history. They are upstanding members of the medical community and now they are being arrested and it's frightening for them," Chartie said. "He certainly wasn't shocked by the allegations because he knows the same allegation was made against [his colleague]."
Detroit emergency room doctor charged with performing female genital mutilation
Authorities say Dr. Nagarwala never worked at Burhani Medical Clinic, therefore the office has no record of her billing for medical procedures there. Nargawala was arrested in Detroit on April 12. Authorities claim that the Attars allowed Nagarwala to perform the operations when the office was closed.
The FGM investigation at Burhani Medical Clinic has identified two young girls from Minnesota who have been operated on by Dr. Nagarwala. Other minor girls in Michigan may have undergone procedures as well.
Child Protection petition filed for Minn. victim of female genital mutilation
Investigators say they have video evidence of Dr. Nagarwala meeting patients at Dr. Attar's Livonia clinic. They also tapped Nagarwala's phone and say they recorded a conversation in which attar's wife is allegedly heard telling patients not to talk to police and deny any procedure was done.
The Attars are both in federal custody and will have a bond hearing next week.
Members of a particular religious and cultural community are known to practice FGM on young girls as part of their beliefs and cultural practice to suppress sexuality. Dr. Nagarwala's defense team has denied the accusations against her and calls it 'religious removal.'
Livonia doctor's defense denies female genital mutilation; calls it religious removal
The defense argued, claiming no female genital mutilation took place, instead, a religious removal of a mucus membrane from the genitals which was wrapped up and given to the parents to bury -- a practice they say is performed by a small sect of Indian-based Islam called Dawoodi Bohra.
This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 2 for updates.