Gulfport man sentenced to 30 years for sexual battery and kidnapping

Gulfport man sentenced to 30 years for sexual battery and kidnapping

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport man will spend the next 30 years in prison after admitting to kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman he knew.

Joshua Dallas, 34, was sentenced Thursday on charges of sexual battery and kidnapping. He pleaded guilty March 6, just moments before jury selection was set to begin for his trial.

Gulfport police began investigating this case on May 19, 2016, after the victim's mother contacted them and told them the victim was missing. Police say the mother told them her daughter's front door had been forced open and the apartment had evidence of a struggle. At that time, Dallas told the victim's mother that he had dropped off the woman at another location.

Police say the victim was then brought back to her apartment by another family member where she told officers the details of the crimes committed against her. Police say the victim told them in addition to kicking in her front door and assaulting her, Dallas forced her into his car, took her back to his residence, and sexually assaulted her.

The victim also told police that Dallas recorded her on his cell phone after the assault and threatened to upload the video to the Internet if she told anyone. From that information, investigators were able to uncover text messages and videos from Dallas' phone that matched up with the victim's statement.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Crosby Parker said, "In addition to the physical evidence located at the victim's house and DNA evidence from a sexual assault kit, Gulfport investigators were able to forensically examine the defendant's phone to find videos where the defendant was engaging in nonconsensual sexual activity with the victim."

Officials say given the nature of the crimes, the sentences will be served day for day without the eligibility of probation or parole and once released Dallas must register as a sex offender.

Harrison County District Attorney, Joel Smith, stated, "[T]he victim, as well as her family, showed a tremendous amount of strength and courage in immediately contacting the Gulfport Police Department allowing our law enforcement to recover valuable evidence that led to this defendant being held accountable for his actions."

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