A federal judge is ordering a Michigan doctor to remain incarcerated while she awaits trial on charges of mutilating the genitals of young girls.
The procedure is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights and considered a criminal act in the U.S.
But it is still practiced in some cultures.
The Justice Department accuses Dr. Jumana Nagarwala of cutting the clitoral areas of two 7-year-old girls who were transported by their parents from Minnesota to Michigan.
Federal officials say the procedures occurred after business hours at a clinic in Livonia.
Officials say no records were kept of the procedures having happened.
An attorney for Nagarwala counters that the doctor claims she only removed a mucous membrane from the girls’ genitals to give to their parents so it could be buried as part of a religious practice.
The judge in the hearing denied Nagarwala’s request for home detention.
The judge noted the FBI believes the doctor has performed genital mutilation procedures for many years in Michigan.
She was arrested while trying to board a flight for Kenya, though the government acknowledges the trip had been planned well in advance.
But the judge ruled Nagarwala poses both a flight risk and a danger to the community.