US Mom charged with mutilating daughter’s genitals demands removal of ankle monitor – it’s ‘irritating’

An Oakland County, Michigan mother who is one of eight defendants in America’s first female genital mutilation (FGM) case asked to have her ankle monitor removed because it causes “irritation to the skin.”

Detroit Free Press reports that the mother, whose name has been kept confidential to protect the identity of her minor daughter, submitted documents on Tuesday arguing the device “serves no practical purpose and there is no reason to continue wearing it for the next eight months” prior to the trial.

The woman’s written statement says the ankle monitor “can never be removed — even while showering, bathing and sleeping,” and that it is “unnecessarily intrusive.” She adds the device and is “physically uncomfortable and causes irritation to the skin.”

Attorney Brian Legghio defends the mother accused of subjecting her own daughter to FGM as part of a Muslim-tied mutilation ring discovered in April.

Leggio said his client is a stay-at-home mother whose life is dedicated to her taking care of her young children and attending religious events at her mosque and that she has “no prior criminal record whatsoever.”

The lawyer wrote to the court, saying “[The ankle bracelet’s] visual presence and it’s intermittent beeping requires (her) to explain to her 8-year-old and 5-year-old children why their mother must wear an electronic bracelet on her ankle.”

Prosecutors have not yet responded to the request.

The other defendants in the case include four other parents, well as the doctors of a Livonia, Michigan clinic–Dr. Jumana Nagarwala and Dr. Fakuruddin Attar. Attar’s wife, Farida, has also been charged in the case.

The eight defendants belong to the Dawoodi Bohra Indian Muslim sect, for whom FGM is considered a rite of passage, typically being performed at age seven. The Dawoodi Bohra have a mosque in Farmington Hills.

Investigators believe more than 100 girls have undergone FGM at the Livonia clinic over the last 12 years. The defendants claim they did not cut the girls, but only performed scraping procedures as part of the sect’s religious tradition. Female genital mutilation is illegal throughout the US.

The trial is scheduled to begin in June.


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