A Georgia man swapped sexual text messages with a teenage girl while his toddler son sat dying in the back seat of the father’s sweltering SUV, his young texting partner testified in court Friday.
Jurors at the trial of Justin Ross Harris also watched police video Friday of Harris just a few hours after his 22-month-old son, Cooper, died. In a police interrogation room, Harris and his wife discuss having more children. Before that, Harris tells detectives: “I’m a great father.”
Harris, 35, is charged with murder in the little boy’s death. He’s also charged with sending graphic, sexual text messages and photos of his penis to a girl for a period of several months when she was 16 and 17.
That young woman, now 19, testified Friday she met Harris online in the fall of 2013 when he responded to a comment she posted on the app Whisper stating she wanted a sexual relationship like the one in the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
“When it started, it was strictly sexual,” the witness said of her relationship with Harris. “Then at times it would be like a normal conversation.”
They never met in person, but Harris knew her age and that she was in high school, the young woman testified. She sent him one of her prom photos, she said, and would tell him about her efforts to choose a college.
They also discussed sex acts they wanted to perform together, and Harris would send her photos of his penis. A prosecutor showed four photos to the jury. She said he asked her to send him photos of her genitals “countless” times, but she never did.
“There wasn’t any pressure applied to you to participate in this, is that fair to say?” defense attorney Maddox Kilgore asked the young woman.
“Yes,” she replied. Prosecutor Chuck Boring noted that Georgia law makes the girl’s consent irrelevant because she was a minor.