DOCUMENT: Revolting, Crime

Doctor Busted For Female Mutilation Surgery

FBI: Physician performed procedures on young girls

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Female Mutilation

APRIL 13--A Detroit doctor was charged today with performing female genital mutilation surgeries on several young girls, according to a criminal complaint.

Jumana Nagarwala, an emergency room physician at Henry Ford Hospital, was arrested today for allegedly performing the procedure on victims between the ages of six and eight.

Nagarwala, a 44-year-old graduate of Johns Hopkins University’s medical school, performed the genital mutilation surgery at a medical clinic in Livonia, a Detroit suburb. Nagarwala, investigators allege, does not work as the clinic “and there is no record of her billing for medical procedures there.”

As detailed in a criminal complaint accusing her of multiple felonies, Nagarwala (seen above) performed mutilation surgery on a pair of girls who traveled to Michigan from Minnesota in February. One child told a forensic interviewer that she was brought to Detroit for a “special” girls trip. While there, the girl recalled, she and the other minor went to the doctor because “our tummies hurt.” While at the doctor’s office, the child added, a procedure was performed “to get the germs out.”

The second Minnesota girl told a forensic interviewer that, “her parents told her the procedure is a secret and that she is not supposed to talk about it.” The girl added that after the procedure she “could barely walk, and that she felt pain all the way down to her ankle.”

An FBI investigation, the complaint notes, has identified other children “who may have been victimized by Nagarwala.” Multiple Michigan girls interviewed this week told federal agents that “procedures had been performed on their genitals by Nagarwala.”

During an interview Monday, Nagarwala told a federal agent that she had never performed female genital mutilation surgery (which she knew to be illegal).

FBI Agent Kevin Swanson reported in the affidavit that female genital mutilation is practiced by “some members of a particular religious and cultural community,” of which Nagarwala is a member. One purpose of the surgery, Swanson noted, was to “curb the sexuality of girls and women by making sex painful.”

Nagarwala, who is scheduled to appear this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Detroit, has been charged with female genital mutilation, lying to a federal officer, and transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

According to Michigan state records, Nagarwala received her medical license in June 2001 and has not been the subject of any disciplinary actions. (7 pages)