A federal prosecutor dropped a bombshell in court Wednesday, telling a federal judge that the government estimates that as many as 100 girls may have had their genitals cut at the hands of a local doctor and her cohorts.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward disclosed the information while trying to convince a judge to keep a doctor and his wife locked up in the historic case. It involves allegations that two Minnesota girls had their genitals cut at a Livonia clinic in February as part of a religious rite of passage and were told to keep what happened a secret.

“Due to the secretive nature of this procedure, we are unlikely to ever know how many children were cut by Dr. (Jumana) Nagarwala,” Woodward said, referring to the lead defendant in the case,  later adding, “The Minnesota victims were not the first victims.”

Against Woodward’s wishes, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman granted bond to two other defendants in the case: Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, of Farmington Hills, who is accused of letting Nagarwala use his clinic to perform genital cutting procedures on minor girls; and his wife, Farida Attar, 50, who is accused of holding the girls’ hands during the procedure to keep them from squirming and to calm them.

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