DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A Detroit-area doctor charged with performing genital mutilation on girls in a Muslim sect will soon be free from behind bars.
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A judge on Tuesday was persuaded to grant bond to Dr. Jumana Nagarwala after supporters pledged to pay millions of dollars to secure her release from jail on an electronic tether as she awaits trial.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the $4.5 million unsecured bond — believed to be the largest ever set in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan — carries strict conditions governing Nagarwala’s release.
If Nagarwala violates the terms of her bond or fails to appear for court, she and her husband would face the forfeiture of their Northville home. Seventeen individuals who are guaranteeing her bond would be required to satisfy the remainder of the $4.5 million if she fails to comply with the terms of her release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said,
Federal Judge Bernard Friedman called it a “very comprehensive package.”
Initially denied bond, Nagarwala has been in custody since her arrest in April. It will be a few days more before she’s released while the terms of the bond are finalized.READ MORE: Oxford Shooting: Expert Response On Hostility, Gun Violence In Schools
Nagarwala denies committing any crime, contending she performed a religious custom on girls from her Muslim sect, the Dawoodi Bohra — which in concentrated mostly in India but does have a mosque in metro Detroit.
Through her attorney, Nagarwala said she only “removed mucous” from the children and then handed the gauze to the family for burial.
This is believed to be the first case brought under a federal law which criminalizes FGM, which typically involves the cutting of a girl’s genitals, often for cultural or religious reasons.
[View a copy of the indictment. Note: Contains graphic language/details]
Eight people have been charged, including two Minnesota mothers and the owner of a Livonia clinic where the alleged procedures occurred after hours. Nagarwala worked in the emergency room at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital, but none of the alleged illegal acts took place there.
More than 100 million women and girls are believed to be living with the consequences of female genital mutilation, according to the World Health Organisation. WHO calls the practice, which is common in parts of Africa and the Middle East, “an international recognized violation of human rights of girls and women” that has no known health benefits.MORE NEWS: Push For Gun-Control Bills Renewed After Oxford High School Shooting
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