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Feds say up to 100 girls could be victims in genital mutilation case

Hospital examination table
Mark Brush
Michigan Radio

A federal prosecutor claimed Wednesday that government officials estimate that as many as 100 girls could possibly be victims of a Detroit-area doctor accused of performing female genital mutilation.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward told a federal judge in court yesterday that there is no way to know exactly how many victims were cut by Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, who is accused of conducting female genital cutting procedures in a Detroit-area clinic.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman granted bail to the two other defendants in the case, Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife, Farida Attar. Dr. Attar is accused of allowing Nagarwala to use his clinic to perform the illegal procedure on underage girls.

More from the Free Press:

The government believes the three defendants, all members of a local Indian-Muslim sect, subjected numerous girls to genital cutting procedures over a 12-year period. To date, the government says it has identified eight victims -- including the two Minnesota girls -- though Woodward said the government estimates there could be as many as 100 victims. She said that's a conservative estimate, and that it's based on Dr. Attar's alleged admission to authorities that he let Nagarwala use his clinic up to six times a year to treat children for genital rashes.

Attar's lawyer said the government has overstated many aspects of the case.

Dr. Nagarwala and Dr. Attar both face up to life in prison; Farida Attar faces up to 20 years. 

Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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