After seven days of testimony, an Atlanta jury took only three hours on Wednesday to find Khalid Adem guilty of aggravated battery and cruelty to children. The case was the first prosecution in the United States in connection with female genital mutilation. Though Adem defiantly denied the act, he will serve 10 years in prison and five years’ probation for using scissors to circumcise his then-2-year-old daughter in 2001.
Adem was born in Ethiopia, where circumcision is sometimes performed on young girls. The African practice has been denounced for decades by health and human rights activists. In some areas of Africa, it is considered a coming-of-age ritual.