DETROIT — Two young Minnesota girls who were found to be victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) may just be two of many.
According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward told the court Wednesday that approximately 100 girls may have been victims of Dr. Jumana Nargarwala.
In April, Alpha News reported on the arrest and subsequent charging of Nargarwala, who performed the female genital mutilation procedure on two Minnesota girls, both seven years old.
According to the Detroit 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.”
Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) authored a bill to increase the criminal penalties of those complicit in the procedure of female genital mutilation.
“We need to end the identity politics and do what’s right. FGM is a human’s right issue, a woman’s health issue and a gender violence issue. It has no place in the United States of America,” Franson told Alpha News in May.
Franson’s bill would enact a felony charge for parents complicit with the procedure and enhance current criminal penalties against medical practitioners who conduct the procedure on young girls and women. The felony charge would carry a jail sentence of 20 years in prison and possible deportation.
The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, but stalled in the Senate due to pushback from outside groups. The Senate says they plan to revisit the bill when they return in 2018.
Fox 2 Detroit reports the federal judge presiding over the case determined on Wednesday that Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife Farida Attar, who have been charged in connection to the case, would be released from jail while they wait for their trial to begin. Both will be placed on house arrest.