If you follow our blog, or even just read the local news, you already know something about the Female Genital Mutilation case that took Detroit by storm last year. It started with a single female doctor, 44-year-old Jumana Nagarwala of Northville, who was charged with performing genital cuttings on two young girls from Minnesota, aged 6 and 8. Less than a week later, another set of charges were brought, this time against Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife Farida Attar, who were accused of assisting Nagarwala.
The two young victims explained during interviews with Homeland Security agents and CPS workers, that they’d been taken to ‘the doctor’, where they lay on an examination table while Nagawala performed a very painful procedure on their genitals. After the first two victims shared their testimony, other potential victims were located here in Michigan. But now it’s been made public that even more girls have been subject to this crime.
New victims have been identified by the feds.
You may not have realized it, but the investigation into FGM as it’s practiced illegally here in the US, has been going on since the very first allegations were made in early 2017. The newest victims to be added to the list of children subjected to FGM, are apparently from Illinois. So far in the case, federal investigators say they have identified the original two girls from Minnesota, four girls from Michigan and now three girls from Illinois.
Thus far, criminal charges have been brought against eight adults who’ve either performed the procedures, assisted those performing the procedures, or allowed the procedures to be performed on their children. An updated indictment was filed last week, and the first trial has been scheduled for January.
This FGM case has had a profound effect on Michigan, and the USA.
When this case was first publicized, the effect was immediate and profound! People reacted violently all over the country, and the media storm was intense. Michigan legislators began immediate work on a bill package that made FGM illegal in Michigan, and outlined very severe punishments for those convicted of performing or allowing it. Other states followed suit, and religious rights versus child abuse became a hotly debated issue.
This situation is a classic example of how difficult and confusing it can be when one person’s cultural or religious beliefs collide with another’s. What is viewed as acceptable, or even necessary, in one part of the world, may be considered a crime somewhere else. It can make life very complicated for families moving to the United States from other parts of the world, where customs, beliefs and lifestyles can be very different.
Have you been accused of abusing or neglecting a child?
Child abuse or neglect are very serious crimes in Michigan, and can result in decades, if not life times, behind bars. When this happens as a result of a cultural or religious misunderstanding, it can have tragic effects on families and communities. With that in mind, if you have any questions about Michigan law and how it may affect your religious and cultural practices, please contact our experienced child abuse defense attorneys. We are here to help you.