Two Detroit doctors and one of the doctor’s wives carried out as many as a 100 genital mutilation procedures over a 12-year period, a federal prosecutor has alleged.
According to the Detroit Free Press, prosecutors have identified eight people who fell victim to Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, 44, Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, and his wife, Farida Attar, 50.
As Crime Online previously reported, Dr. Nagarwala is the first person to be charged under federal law for practicing female genital mutilation (FGM). In April, FBI Special Agent Kevin J. Swanson alleged that Nagarwala and Attar performed FGM on two 7-year-old Minnesota girls. The two doctors allegedly conducted the procedures while Attar’s wife held down the victims’ arms, prosecutors have asserted.
Though officials have estimated that as many as 100 women were victimized, Attorney Sara Woodward believes the figure could be much higher. She has asserted that Dr. Nagarwala used Dr. Fakhruddin’s clinic at least six times a year, Newsweek has reported.
“Due to the secretive nature of this procedure, we are unlikely to ever know how many children were cut by Dr. Nagarwala,” she said. “The Minnesota victims were not the first victims.”
However, Mary Chartier, the lawyer representing the Attars, claims that her clients did not partake in a criminal act, citing it as a religious rite-of-passage.
“I think the government has overstated so many aspects of this case and this is one more example of overreaching,” Chartier commented, according to the Free Press.
The two doctors are being charged with transportation of an individual with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. This offense carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.
Farida Attar is being charged with conspiracy to commit FGM. She faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.
The Attars were released from jail on Thursday, but Judge Friedman has ordered the couple to turn over their passports and be placed on house arrest. They must also release custody of their daughter, who is a minor.
Nagarwala was denied bail. Her trial is scheduled for October 10.
[Featured Image: Henry Ford Health]