The genital mutilation investigation that has snared several people in Michigan has also stretched to other states.
Federal agents have identified new potential defendants who live in Los Angeles, Chicago and Minnesota, according to court documents filed Tuesday by Shannon Smith, an attorney for a Michigan doctor charged in the case.
Jumana Nagarwala of Northville has been charged with cutting at least six girls — four from Michigan and two from Minnesota. She has denied any crimes, saying she only removed membranes from the girls’ genitals as part of a custom tied to a sect of Muslims from India to which she belongs, the Dawoodi Bohra.
Nagarwala is one of six people so far to be charged in the case. She is due back in court Wednesday morning for a hearing on her request to be released on bond.
Nagarwala has been in custody since her arrest in April.
Smith wrote in the new filing that she believes the government will seek charges against additional people based on the “target letters” the potential defendants have received.
She said there is no medical evidence that the girls were mutilated. She also said the government is wrong to assert that Nagarwala mutilated at least 100 girls.
The government’s response to Nagarwala’s motion to be released has been sealed.
Authorities have accused Nagarwala, a former Henry Ford Health System physician, of performing genital mutilation at the Burhani Medical Clinic in Livonia. The health system fired her after the accusations came to light.
Among the victims, prosecutors allege, is an Oakland County girl whose mother brought her in 2015 to the clinic, where Nagarwala performed the procedure.
Originally posted on USA Today: