In the first case of its kind filed in the United States, federal authorities today
arrested two Canyon County residents on federal charges of conspiring to perform
female genital mutilation on two minors.
Todd Cameron Bertrang, 41 , and his companion, Robyn Faulkinbury, 24, were arrested
at their residence early this morning by special agents with the Federal Bureau of
According to a criminal complaint filed this morning in United States District
Court in Los Angeles, an undercover FBI agent contacted Bertrang through the
Internet. Through a series of e-mail messages, phone calls and visits to the Canyon
Country residence, Bertrang offered to perform female genital mutilation on two
fictitious minor children, ages 8 and 12.
During the execution of a search warrant, Bertrang told investigators that he had
performed more female circumcisions than anyone in the Western World. However,
according to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Bertrang had
previously told the undercover FBI agent that the procedure was “totally illegal”
in the United States and that performing the procedure on any girl under 18
“carries a five years immediate prison sentence.”
The Federal Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1995 outlawed the
circumcision or removal of certain sexual organs of girls under the age of 18
unless it is necessary for the health of the patient and only if it is performed by
a licensed medical practitioner. According to the affidavit, Bertrang never asked
about the “girls” medical condition, nor is he licensed to practice medicine in the
state of California.
The affidavit alleges that Faulkinbury had assisted Bertrang in conducting surgical
procedures including at least one female genital modification.
Bertrang and Faulkinbury are expected to make their first court appearance in
federal court in downtown Los Angeles this afternoon.
The conspiracy count in the indictment carries a maximum possible penalty of five
years in federal prison.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime.
Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Southern California Regional
Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Team – the SAFE Team – which is made up of agents
and investigators from a number of agencies, including the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, and the Medical Board of California.