DETROIT (AP) – A Detroit-area doctor charged with performing genital mutilation on two 7-year-old girls is denying the allegations, saying it was a religious practice for families in a Muslim sect.
A lawyer for Dr. Jumana Nagarwala told a judge Monday that the doctor agrees that genital mutilation is inappropriate. Attorney Shannon Smith says Nagarwala removed mucous from two Minnesota girls in February and then handed the gauze to the family for burial.
Smith says Nagarwala is a member of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a Muslim sect concentrated mostly in India. The group has a mosque in suburban Detroit.
A judge ordered Nagarwala to jail without bond, saying she’s a threat to the public. Federal prosecutors say it’s the first time someone has been charged with violating a U.S. ban on genital mutilation.