Defense tries to toss genital mutilation charges – Detroit News

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Detroit — Defense lawyers tried to convince a federal judge Tuesday to dismiss female genital mutilation charges in the first criminal case of its kind nationwide, arguing the law is unconstitutional.

The bid by defense lawyers is the first challenge to a 22-year-old federal law that went unused until April 2017. That’s when Dr. Jumana Nagarwala of Northville was arrested and accused of heading a conspiracy that lasted 12 years, involved seven people and led to mutilating the genitalia of nine girls as part of a religious procedure practiced by some members of the Dawoodi Bohra, a Muslim sect from India that has a small community in Metro Detroit.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman, following an hour-long hearing in downtown Detroit, said he would file a written opinion soon.

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