2nd doctor charged in genital mutilation case

Apr 24, 2017 by

DETROIT — For the second time in a week, authorities have charged a Detroit-area doctor with breaking a federal genital mutilation law, this time arresting a suburban physician and his wife for allegedly helping another doctor perform genital cutting on 7-year-old girls in a Livonia clinic.

According to a criminal complaint unsealed Friday, while a doctor removed parts of the girls’ genitals, the wife of the clinic owner held the girls’ hands “in order to comfort them.”

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, and his wife, Farida Attar, 50, both of Livonia, were arrested Friday morning at the Burhani Medical Clinic in Livonia, where the alleged cuttings took place.

They’re charged with conspiring to perform genital mutilation on minor girls by letting a doctor use their clinic to perform the procedure. Prosecutors say two Minnesota girls had their genitals mutilated in February by Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, who was charged last week in what is the nation’s first federal prosecution of genital cutting. She was arrested April 12 and ordered jailed pending the outcome of her case involving the two Minnesota girls, though the FBI believes she has several more victims.

All three defendants are part of a small, Indian-Muslim community known as the Dawoodi Bohra, which was at the center of an Australian genital cutting prosecution that sent three people to prison in 2015.

The Attars were arraigned Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court and will remain locked up pending a detention hearing at 1 p.m. Wednesday, when a judge will decide whether to grant them bond or keep them behind bars. Both appeared in federal court in handcuffs and chains.

“It’s frightening for them,” Mary Chartier, Fakhruddin Attar’s lawyer said afterward, adding that the couple was surprised by the arrest Friday. “Dr. Attar is not aware of or believe any crimes were committed at his clinic.”

The Attars have “no criminal history whatsoever,” Chartier said.

Nagarwala, an emergency room doctor with the Henry Ford Health System, has been placed on leave. She is not accused of performing any genital mutilation at the hospital, but rather at a clinic in Livonia owned by Attar.

Source: 2nd doctor charged in genital mutilation case

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