Federal prosecutors say they have identified three more girls whose parents took them to get their genitals mutilated by a medical doctor from Detroit, bringing the total number of victims to 100.
Jumana Nagarwala (above), an emergency room doctor who was charged last year with mutilating the genitals of two seven-year-old girls, is now accused of a massive genital mutilation operation that lasted about 12 years. The three recently identified victims were all elementary school girls who came to her for the ritual religious cuttings.
One of the girls was cut on Valentine’s Day in 2015; another at the start of her 2015 school year, court records show. The third was cut in March 2015.
All three Illinois girls were about 7 years old at the time of the procedures, according to a new indictment filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, where eight people are facing charges in the nation’s first genital mutilation case, including two doctors and four mothers.
Prosecutors have now identified nine victims in the case: two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota; four Michigan girls ages 8-12, and the three Illinois girls.
According to the new indictment, one of the Michigan girls was given Valium ground up in liquid Tylenol during her procedure in 2015.
This is a huge case, and it seems to keep getting bigger. It’s not just about Nagarwala, either. Prosecutors arrested some of her accomplices just a week after her indictment, and now an entire underground genital mutilation network is compromised.
The lead defendant in the case is Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, 45, of Northville, whom prosecutors have estimated performed genital mutilation on at least 100 girls over a 12-year-period…
The case involves allegations that Nagarwala and others for years subjected children to genital mutilation procedures out of a Livonia medical clinic during after hours, and went to great lengths to keep it secret. Her codefendants are Dr. Fakhuruddin Attar, who is accused of letting her use his Livonia clinic to carry out the procedures; and his wife, Farida Attar, who is accused of assisting Nagarwala in the examination room during the procedures…
A fourth woman, Tahera Shafiq, also is charged with assisting in the exam room. The other four defendants are mothers, accused of subjecting their children to the practice.
The mutilation ring has been caught and justice will hopefully be served, but I hope Nagarwala is punished severely for what she’s done. She shouldn’t get leniency because she was assisting parents with a religious ritual. As prosecutors have pointed out, she knew what she was doing was illegal because she was a doctor.
Especially egregious, authorities have argued, is that this procedure was carried out by a doctor who took an oath to do no harm.
“She knew that this was illegal but did it anyway,” Woodward has said of Nagarwala, stressing: “As a medical doctor, she is aware that female genital mutilation has no medical purpose.”
It has no purpose, it’s barbaric, and the only justification comes by way of religion. The more serious the punishment, the more it will deter other doctors who want to follow in her footsteps.