Doctor charged with female genital mutilation could face life in prison
(WJBK) - The doctor at the center of the genital mutilation investigation was fired by Henry Ford Hospital.
On Friday she was back in federal court, arraigned on conspiracy and mutilation charges.
Now we're learning she could face life in prison.
Doctor Jumana Nagarwala back in Federal Court on Thursday to be arraigned where she entered a not guilty plea. She's accused of performing female genital Mutilation among other crimes on young girls at a medical clinic in Livonia.
Those accusations have cost Nargarwala her job at Henry Ford Hospital where she worked as an emergency room doctor. Investigators believe this had been going for years with the victims living out of state and in Metro Detroit. The doctor has been fired from the hospital.
FOX 2: "Any comment guys?"
Family members for Nargarwala had nothing to say and her attorney is not speaking on camera at this time.
"I believe they are being persecuted for their religious beliefs and I do not make that allegation lightly," said Mary Chartier, the attorney representing Doctor Fakhruddin Attar. on Wednesday.
Shannon Smith told FOX 2 she agrees with the comment made yesterday by Chartier. Attar and his wife are accused of helping Nargarwala commit the crimes at the medical facility.
After the story aired on Wednesday, Doctor Zuhdi Jasser who is President of the American Islamic Forum For Democracy, went on social media and fired back saying that kind of comment hurts the entire Muslim community.
"I think every Muslim should be horrifically offended at the fact that somebody would site our faith as a reason to shield these individuals from prosecution," said Jasser. "In between the lines of her saying she's being persecuted for her faith is messaging America that it is part of the Islamic faith to commit acts of female genital Mutilation and to commit procedures to 7-year-old girls on their genitals - and that is absurd."
Also this week , Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) introduced two bills that if signed into law, would make FGM a 15-year felony in the State of Michigan.
"Currently Michigan has no law on the books, there is a federal law but it only gives people five years," he said. "I was extremely upset and many of my constituents were upset and contacted me and said why don't we have a standalone Michigan law, so our prosecutors can take action against this."
The Michigan lawmaker is putting the two Senate Bills on the fast track, and hopes to have signed into law as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the three who are accused in this case remain in federal custody.