NEW YORK – Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, of Detroit, Michigan, was released on a $4.5 million unsecured bond last week, after spending seven months in jail for mutilating the genitalia of “countless” young girls.
According to detroitnews.com, she was freed after more than a dozen of her friends came to federal court and pledged to pay what would be the largest unsecured bond in Detroit federal court history if she flees while awaiting a June trial, the first trial nationwide involving female genital mutilation.
Nagarwala is to wear leg shackles with a GPS tether and live at an undisclosed hotel with her father, who agreed to watch her 24 hours a day and ensure she complies with the bond conditions.
She will not be able to have any contact with the witnesses or victims in the case and is banned from living at home while the state tries to strip her parental rights to two minor children, though she will be allowed supervised visits.
“She’s obviously really happy to be getting out, especially right before Thanksgiving,” her lawyer Shannon Smith told The Detroit News.
Her release came just two weeks before her next court hearing.
Detroitnews.com reports that federal prosecutors call Nagarwala a danger to the community and a flight risk with ties to Africa and India, she also has access to $2.4 million in assets that could bankroll a prolonged flight from justice.
Prosecutors say that she was arrested in April when she tried to board a flight to Kenya for a prearranged visit with two of her four children who study abroad.
Nagarwala is among eight people charged in a case alleging a 12-year conspiracy that involved cutting prepubescent girls as part of a procedure practiced by some members of a small Muslim sect from India, the Dawoodi Bohra. Locally, most members of the sect belong to the Anjuman-e-Najmi mosque in Farmington Hills.
Prosecutors estimate up to 100 girls were cut during the 12-year conspiracy. So far, the indictment references six victims.
Nagarwala has been jailed since April after prosecutors say two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota were cut at the Burhani Medical Clinic in Livonia.
The procedures happened even though the FBI had installed a hidden camera outside the clinic before the girls arrived. There is no indication in court records that investigators were watching the surveillance footage in real time, were aware of its significance initially or knew about the alleged surgeries beforehand.