The Latest: Feds say 'countless' girls might have been cut
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Latest on a U.S. female genital mutilation case and state legislation to combat the practice (all times local):
A federal prosecutor says a Detroit-area doctor accused of performing female genital mutilation on two Minnesota girls might have performed it on "countless" others since 2005.
The brief disclosure was made Wednesday during a court hearing in Detroit for two other people charged in the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward says an investigation involving Michigan girls is ongoing. She didn't offer details about her belief that there could be many more victims.
Dr. Jumana Nagarwala is charged with committing genital mutilation in February on the two Minnesota 7-year-old girls. Nagarwala, two co-defendants and the girls' families belong to a Muslim sect known as Dawoodi Bohra.
Nagarwala's attorney has said the doctor didn't commit a crime but removed mucous during a religious ritual at a suburban Detroit clinic owned by a friend, Dr. Fakhruddin Attar. Nagarwala, Attar and Attar's wife are in jail without bond.
A doctor charged with allowing female genital mutilation at his Detroit-area clinic has been denied bond and will remain in jail.
A judge also refused to release the wife of Dr. Fakhruddin Attar after a long court hearing Wednesday.
Federal Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Stafford says the doctor and Farida Attar are a danger to the public. She cited allegations that they encouraged people to deny that anything illegal occurred.
Dr. Attar is charged with allowing another doctor to perform genital mutilation in February on two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota. Prosecutors say his wife was present and may have helped to hold the children down.
Defense attorneys deny that genital mutilation occurred. The Attars and the Minnesota girls' families belong to a Muslim sect called Dawoodi Bohra.
Minnesota lawmakers are moving to levy harsh penalties on parents who subject their children to genital cutting after a Detroit-area doctor was charged.
Dr. Jumana Nagarwala was charged last week with female genital mutilation and other crimes for allegedly performing the procedure on two 7-year-old Minnesota girls. The manager of the clinic and his wife were also indicted.
Prosecutors say the girls were brought to Michigan by their mothers. A Minnesota House panel unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would make it a felony for parents to subject their children to the practice.
Legislators heard a Somali-American woman's story of being blindfolded and tied down as a young girl to have her genitals cut. Rep. Mary Franson says she wants to send a message that genital mutilation is child abuse.