Local News

June 20, 2014

Two ‘travelers’ convicted

CHATSWORTH — Last week, two Murray County juries convicted two different men of traveling to Murray County for the purpose of having sex with underage females.

On Tuesday, after 20 minutes of deliberations, a jury convicted Michael Robert Doan, 54, of Ooltewah, Tenn., of criminal attempt to commit aggravated child molestation, criminal attempt to commit child molestation and computer and electronic child exploitation, all felonies.

Starting on Thursday and concluding Friday, a separate jury heard evidence and subsequently convicted Sunil Shamji Jungiwalla, 49, of Snellville, of the same three crimes.

Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris presided over both trials which were presented to the jury by Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer.

Both cases were made by Detective Brett Morrison of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office in his capacity as a member of the Northwest Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Doan spent two days conversing with Morrison, who was posing as the stepfather of two underage stepdaughters, before coming to Murray County in January 2012. He purchased and took Cialis, an erectile dysfunction medication shortly before the prearranged meeting at which he was arrested. Once in custody, he admitted to Morrison, consistent with his earlier email communication, that he intended to have sexual relations with females he believed to be underage.

Jungiwalla came to Murray County for the same purpose in July 2011 after a series of graphic emails, text messages and recorded phone calls with Morrison, this time posing as the uncle of an underage niece. Jungiwalla brought alcohol for his intended victim to the meeting location in Murray County where he was arrested and, like Doan, admitted his intentions to Morrison when questioned.

Both men presented “entrapment” defenses through their attorneys, Dan Ripper of Chattanooga for Doan and Charles Brandt of Atlanta for Jungiwalla. The entrapment defense asserts that the idea for the crime originated with law enforcement and that the perpetrator was coerced into committing, or in this case, attempting to commit the crime, by undue pressure and influence from the detective. Anticipating the defense, Morrison and other members of the task force employ a variety of techniques to document their communication with the suspect and to give the suspect more than one opportunity to withdraw from the arrangement before any arrest is made. Neither jury believed that the offenders were entrapped.

Jungiwalla will be sentenced on July 16 and faces up to 30 years on the attempted aggravated child molestation, 10 years on attempted child molestation and 20 years on computer and electronic child exploitation. As he is not a United States citizen, Jungiwalla will likely be deported to India after serving his sentence.

Due to a scheduling conflict with his attorney, Doan will not be sentenced until Aug. 27 when he will face the same amount of time as Jungiwalla. Both men remain in the custody of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office pending sentencing.

The cases took longer than normal to bring to trial because Morrison was the primary witness in Doan and the only witness in Jungiwalla and he was unavailable from September 2012 through September 2013 serving in Afghanistan. The Superior Court of Murray County  convenes for jury trials only three times per year so it has taken some time since Morrison’s return to catch up his caseload. Jury trials resume in Chatsworth on Monday after which the next trial term will be in October.

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