LIVONIA, Mich. - The owner of a medical clinic and his wife are charged with participating in the female genital mutilation of young girls in Livonia.
Fakhruddin Attar, 53, and his wife Farida Attar, 50, both of Livonia, are charged with conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation, (FGM) and aiding and abetting female genital mutilation.
According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, Fakhruddin Attar owns Burhani Medical Clinic and his wife works as an office manager. The complaint says the couple arranged operations and assisted Dr. Jumana Nagarwala in performing female genital mutilation on girls who were 6 to 8 years old.
VIEW: Criminal complaint
Nagarwala, 44, is charged with performing female genital mutilation on two 7-year-old girls.
"Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls," acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch said. "It is also a serious federal felony in the United States. The practice has no place in modern society, and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law."
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the charges are believed to be unprecedented.
Officials said some members of a particular religious and cultural community are known to practice FGM on young girls as part of their religious and cultural practices. Investigators said the practice is performed in an attempt to suppress female sexuality and reduce sexual pleasure and promiscuity.
Fakhruddin Attar is accused of allowing the medical clinic to be used by Nagarwala to perform the procedures and helping arrange the appointments.
The federal complaint said Fakhruddin Attar made a series of phone calls to a member of the community in Minnesota in October 2016. From Oct. 22, 2016, through Jan. 20, officials said Fakhruddin Attar made more than 50 phone calls to the Minnesota number.
Officials believe that the phone calls were connected to two 7-year-old Minnesota girls who were taken to Nagarwala to undergo the procedure.
Both Fakhruddin Attar and Farida Attar were arrested Friday morning.
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