A 17-year-old girl told a Georgia jury on Monday she exchanged lewd texts with Justin Ross Harris just weeks before the Georgia father allegedly murdered his 22-month-old son in 2014 by intentionally leaving him for hours in a hot car while he went to work.
The girl, who was 15 at the time, alleged that Harris, 35, had sent her photos of his genitals on Whisper, an app that encourages users to tell secrets. “He told me he wanted me to make him a naughty old man or something along those lines,” the girl alleged.
The teen, whose identity has been shielded by judge Mary Staley Clark, alleged she first told Harris that she was 18 years old. Later in the conversation, she says, she allegedly told him that she was 15. She alleged Harris sent her a picture of his genitals, and she responded with photos of her private parts.
Assistant District Attorney Chuck Boring asked whether there were “things in that chat about what he wants to do to you as a 15-year-old girl.” The girl became emotional and said yes.
Harris is being tried on several charges, including malice murder, two counts of felony murder and first degree cruelty to children in the death of Cooper. He also faces eight counts related to his alleged sexual activity with underage girls, including two counts of sexual exploitation of minors.
Harris doesn’t deny repeatedly cheating on his wife, including trysts with prostitutes.
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His attorney, Maddox Kilgore, acknowledged several “sexual sins” during the opening statements. He warned jurors that they would hear about “immoral sexual behavior” and “graphic, filthy sexual talk” by his client. He even said that Harris “has earned every bit of shame that’s coming his way” for his admitted sexual improprieties.
On the day that Cooper died in the car, he allegedly exchanged sexual text messages with six different females. One of the females he allegedly sexted was just 16 years old. However, Kilgore said the alleged sexting was “no motive for him to murder the person he loved more than anybody in the world.”
The prosecution is expected to continue presenting their case throughout the week.