The first person in America to be convicted of female genital mutilation has been kicked out of the country. Khalid Adem, 41, who used scissors to remove his 2-year-old daughter's clitoris at their Atlanta-area home in 2001, was deported to Ethiopia on Monday after finishing a 10-year prison sentence, the New York Times reports. "A young girl’s life has been forever scarred by this horrible crime," Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Sean Gallagher said. "The elimination of female genital mutilation/cutting has broad implications for the health and human rights of women and girls, as well as societies at large," he said in an ICE news release that described the practice as a serious human rights violation.
Adem was found guilty in 2006 of aggravated battery and cruelty to children. His daughter, then a 7-year-old, testified on video that her father "cut me on my private part," the BBC reported at the time. The conviction led to Georgia's first law against the practice. It was already illegal under federal law, though the Times notes that it remains disturbingly common: The CDC estimates that more than 500,000 women in the US have undergone or are likely to undergo female genital mutilation, sometimes in "vacation cutting" during family visits to countries in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East. The most common countries of origin for American girls at risk are Egypt, Ethiopia, and Somalia, the CDC says. (Read more female genital mutilation stories.)