Former professor sentenced to 20 years in prison

Staff Report
Staff Writer

Yoginder Dandass was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after a jury in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court found him guilty of sexual battery of a minor.
The guilty verdict and sentencing marked the end of the five-day trial in which prosecutors argued Dandass, a former Mississippi State University professor, abused his adopted Russian daughter for several years prior to his July 2013 arrest. The jury took approximately two hours to reach its verdict.
Dandass’ sentence is short of the 30-year maximum for sexual battery of a minor. The sentence, issued by Judge Lee Coleman, also includes five years of post-release supervision and a $3,000 fine.
Assistant District Attorney Katie Moulds, who argued the case for the prosecution, requested the maximum sentence.
“It is the position of the state that this is one of the most heinous and atrocious acts someone can do to a child,” Moulds said at the sentencing hearing. “To bring her from another country to this place and treat her in the way this man did. For those reasons, the state requests the maximum sentence.”
Attorney Matt Wilson defended Dandass. After the sentencing, Wilson said he respected the decisions of the judge and the jury, but he will pursue whatever appeals he can.