The Department of Justice indicted and arrested Detroit emergency room doctor Jumana Nagarwala on multiple charges Thursday, alleging she performed a number of illegal female genital mutilations (FGM) from 2005 and 2017. Her victims are minor girls, some as young as six years old.
“Despite her oath to care for her patients, Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco 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.”
According to the criminal complaint, Nagarwala performed the illegal and severe procedure in a "medical clinic" outside of the hospital, but did not receive payment and did not bill patients. The FBI classified her as a member of a specific religious community. Girls from neighboring Minnesota, at least one who was seven-years-old, were brought by their parents to Nagarwala for the procedure. They were also interviewed by the FBI and could face charges.
The minors were told they were being taken on a "girls trip." Once they arrived at the hotel, they were told they needed to go the doctor for a "stomach ache" and FGM was performed to "get the germs out."
“Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls. It is also a serious federal felony in the United States,” Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch said. “The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law.”
Special Agent Kevin Swanson, who wrote the criminal complaint, said based on his experience in this investigation "some members of a particular religious and cultural community (hereafter "the Community") are known to practive FGM on young girls in the Community as part of their religious and cultural practice."
This is the first indictment of a individual for FGM in the United States. Nagarwala is also being charged with making false claims to a federal agents and transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
You can read the entire criminal complaint below.