A Michigan doctor indicted in the nation’s first federal female genital mutilation case will be released on bond after five months in custody.
That’s despite arguments from federal prosecutors that the doctor poses a flight risk.
A federal judge ordered Dr. Jumana Nagarwala to be released on a $4.5 million bond paid for by her friends and relatives.
Prosecutors raised concerns that Nagarwala still has access to enough other funds to flee the country.
She’s accused of mutilating the genitals of young girls, which is a federal offense in the U.S. and considered by many groups worldwide as a violation of human rights.
Michigan recently made female genital mutilation a state crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Nagarwala argues that she merely removed a portion of mucus membrane from the girls as part of a cultural practice.
Federal officials have charged eight people in connection with the case, including two mothers from Minnesota who allegedly brought their young daughters to Michigan for the procedure.
Officials say as many as 100 young girls may have been cut over a 12-year period.
The case was initially set to go to trial in October but has been delayed until next year.