ER doctor performed genital mutilation procedures on young girls, federal prosecutors say
US attorneys in Michigan have charged an ER doctor with mutilating the genitals of a young girl.
Prosecutors vowed to use the full power of the law to prosecute the landmark case.
Dr. Jumana Nagarwala of Northville appeared in federal court late Thursday afternoon.
Inside, the doctor became the first person in the US to be charged with performing female genital mutilation.
Mariya Taher has been fighting against the cultural and religious practice of genital mutilation world wide
"It is a form of sexual control, but it's touted in a way that people who might believe in it think they're doing it for the good of the girl," Taher said.
Court records show authorities in Minnesota were alerted after a 7-year-old had a doctor's visit just days ago.
Records said it appeared that the girl suffered horrific cuts and she was in pain.
A sweeping FBI investigation found cell phone records showing the doctor and the girl's family conspiring to fool the girl telling her she was going on a "girl's trip," only to be delivered to an medical office in Livonia. Dr. Nagarwala is accused of performing the procedure.
Dr. Nagarwala works as an ER doctor within the Henry Ford Health System and is suspected of mutilating other children between 2005 and 2007 including girls in Michigan.
"There needs to be a lot of education also in the medical community, too, around this issue and that this is something that we do need to have zero tolerance that this can't be acceptable amongst any health professionals," Taher said.
Dr. Nagarwala says she knows that genital mutilation is illegal and denies performing it.
The medical system that employs her put her on administrative leave.