The Michigan doctor accused of genital mutilation is being charged with victimizing two 7-year-old little girls. Now, authorities say there are even more victims out there.
Police say Jumana Nagarwala mutilated the genitalia of the two girls. This is the very first case of this kind in the U.S. to target the brutal practice of genital mutilation under federal law.
Nagarwala was investigated by the FBI. The agency alleges that back in February, she removed two Minnesota girls’ clitoral skin at a clinic, the Detroit News reported.
The accused is a 44-year-old woman who works as an emergency room doctor. She was also charged with “transporting minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity” and lying to the federal agents who questioned her.
According to reports, there other children whose genitals may have been mutilated by Jumana Nagarwala between 2005 and 2007 as well. Some are also from Michigan.
One of the victims told investigators she believed she and the other girl were visiting the doctor because their “tummies hurt,” according to a criminal complaint cited by the New York Times. The other girl drew a picture of the room where the procedures were performed, marking the spot where she bled on the examination table with a large “X.”
Nagarwala, who works at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, was placed on administrative leave, Henry Ford Health System spokesman David Olejarz told the newspaper, emphasizing the fact that hospital does not condone the procedures nor did they occur at any of their facilities.
In a voluntary interview with investigators earlier this week, Nagarwala denied the accusations. She appeared in court Thursday and was ordered to be held in jail until a hearing scheduled for Monday.
“Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims,” Kenneth A. Blanco, an acting assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s criminal division 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.”
Genital mutilation, which has been illegal in the United States since 1996, is part of a religious and cultural practice that seeks to curb a females’ sexuality. The World Health Organization has documented the practice in 30 countries — the majority of them in Africa.
The health organization estimates more than 200 million girl women have undergone genital mutilation, and estimate an additional 3 million girls are at risk every year.