Watch CBSN Live

Prosecutor: Doctor may have performed genital mutilation on as many as 100 girls

DETROIT - A judge says a Detroit-area doctor and his wife can be released from jail while they face charges of female genital mutilation.

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and Farida Attar must stay in their suburban Detroit home and be electronically monitored. They've been locked up without bond since late April.

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala is charged with performing genital mutilation on two Minnesota girls in February. The government says the alleged acts occurred at Dr. Attar's clinic with his approval. Farida Attar is accused of assisting Nagarwala.

The Attars and Nagarwala belong to a Muslim sect called Dawoodi Bohra. They deny the charges and say a religious ritual was performed.

In court Wednesday, federal prosecutor Sara Woodward said Nagarwala may have performed genital mutilation on as many as 100 girls over 12 years.

Female genital mutilation involves removing external female genitalia partially or in full, sometimes for religious or cultural reasons. Between 100 and 140 million women and girls worldwide are thought to have undergone such a procedure, which is internationally denounced as a violation of human rights, according to the United Nations.

Female genital mutilation of minors is illegal in the U.S. unless there's a legitimate health reason. According to a Department of Justice statement, the three are believed to be the first people charged under federal law 18 U.S.C. 116, which criminalizes the practice.   

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue