Federal prosecutors were weighing Monday whether to appeal a judge's order that dismissed the most serious count against two doctors in the nation's first female genital mutilation case, a sex charge punishable by up to life in federal prison.

The move by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman on Sunday granted a defense motion to dismiss a conspiracy charge alleging Dr. Jumana Nagarwala and Dr. Fakhruddin Attar transported minors to Metro Detroit with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. While female genital mutilation is a federal crime, the allegations do not constitute criminal sexual activity, the judge said.

The move was a victory for the defense teams but leaves in place several other charges, including a conspiracy charge that could send the doctors to prison for 20 years. A trial is set for January 2019.

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