Detroit emergency room physician Jumana Nagarwala was arrested on Wednesday night (April 12) after an FBI investigation alleged she removed clitoral skin from two seven-year-old girls earlier this year. The 44-year-old doctor has since been charged with female genital mutilation (FGM) and transportation with intent to engage in criminal activity, respective five and 10-year felonies, Detroit News reports.
FGM, which involves deliberate procedures that alter or cause injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons, is recognized internationally as a human rights violation according to the World Health Organization.
In what may be the first case of its kind in the U.S., according to The Huffington Post, the young girls were reportedly brought from Minnesota to Livonia, Mich. in what one of the victims thought was a “special girls’ trip.” Both of the girls were allegedly told they had to go to the doctor because their “tummies hurt” before they were subjected to the inhumane procedure.
“Despite her oath to care for her patients, Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco said in a statement. “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.”
Possible motives on the part of the children’s parents and Nagarwala, who may have victimized other children between 2005 and 2007 according to investigators, have not yet been offered.
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