A shocking decision came in federal court Tuesday to release a Detroit-area doctor accused of mutilating little girls until trial.
Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the lead defendant in the nation’s first female genital mutilation federal indictment is posting $4.5 million in bond.
Despite the horrifying charges Dr Nagarwala faces, she has supporters - 17 of which have offered to put their own homes and assets on the line to free the doctor from jail until trial, a trial by the way – that is being watched closely all over the country.
Attorney Elizabeth Yore flew out from Chicago for the bond hearing, knowing this case will set the stage for future FGM federal prosecutions in other states.
“They have uncovered an underground network of human mutilators that are trafficking their children across state lines,” she says.
Dr. Nagarwala has been behind bars since April - arrested for performing genital mutilation procedures on young girls brought to her from Minnesota in a Farmington Hills clinic.
She denies committing a crime, saying it's a religious custom from her Muslim sect, the Dawoodi Bohra.
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman granted a defense motion to release Dr. Nagarwala on a $4.5 million unsecured bond.
Nagarwala is putting her own Northville home on the line as well as the homes and assets of 17 supporters - some local and some from across the country.
There are strict conditions - including wearing a GPS tether.
I reached out to Nagarwala’s attorney and her mosque for comment but couldn't reach anyone.
If Dr. Nagarwala violates the terms of her bond or fails to appear for court, she and her husband would face the forfeiture of their Northville home.
Seventeen individuals who are guaranteeing her bond would be required to satisfy the remainder of the $4.5 million, if she fails to comply with the terms of her release.
She will be released, sometime this week once all 17 supporters have signed and all paperwork is complete.