Genital Mutilation Charges Dismissed in Detroit-Area Case

A federal judge in Detroit says regulating female genital mutilation is up to states and that Congress had no authority to pass the 1996 law banning it.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman dismissed mutilation and conspiracy charges Tuesday against two doctors and others involved in the procedure on nine girls at a suburban Detroit clinic.

Jumana Nagarwala says she performed a religious custom on girls from her Muslim sect, the Dawoodi Bohra. Others are accused of assisting Nagarwala.

The charges also were dismissed against four mothers who took their daughters to the Livonia clinic. The girls are from Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota.

Nagarwala faces charges of conspiracy to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and obstruction.

A spokeswoman says the U.S. attorney’s office is reviewing Friedman’s opinion.

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