Monday, January 15, 2018

One Count Dismissed In Michigan Female Genital Mutilation Case

A Detroit (MI) federal district court yesterday dismissed the most serious of seven charges against two doctors indicted for their involvement in alleged female genital mutilation of girls who are members of the Dawoodi Bohra, a Muslim sect from western India. (See prior related posting.)  In United States v. Nagarwala, (ED MI, Jan. 14, 2018), the court dismissed the Count charging violation of 18 USC Sec. 2423, Conspiracy to Transport Minor with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity.  The court held that "sexual activity" as used in the statute must involve libidinal gratification.  Applying that definition, the court said:
The government does not contend that Dr. Nagarwala or Dr. Attar sought or obtained any libidinal gratification from subjecting the minor victims to FGM....  In short, while the indictment may sufficiently allege a violation of the FGM statute – the statute adopted by Congress to address precisely such genital cutting – it does not allege that defendants transported minors intending that they engage in “sexual activity.” 
Detroit News reports on the decision.