Cop: Dad Sexted With Teen as Son Baked in Car

Justin Ross Harris makes first court appearance
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2014 2:40 PM CDT
Cop: Dad Sexted With Teen as Son Baked in Car
Justin Ross Harris, right, the father of a toddler who died after police say he was left in a hot car for about seven hours, arrives for his bond hearing, July 3, 2014, in Marietta, Ga.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Justin Ross Harris exchanged sexually explicit messages and nude photos with six women as his 22-month-old son baked to death in a hot car—including one 17-year-old, police detective Phil Stoddard testified today, as Harris appeared in court for a probable cause hearing. Harris' lawyer objected repeatedly during the testimony, but prosecutors argued that it helped establish Harris' state of mind, and the judge allowed it, CNN reports. Harris was leading something of a double life, Stoddard said, because he and his wife were having "intimacy problems." In addition to his searches regarding hot car deaths, the detective revealed that Harris had visited websites that advocated child-free living, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The 33-year-old may soon be charged with felony sexual exploitation of a minor thanks to those texts to the 17-year-old, Stoddard added. He also testified that witnesses described Harris as acting erratically when he pulled into a shopping center seeking help for his son. When a witness told Harris the boy needed CPR, Harris apparently walked around the car and started making phone calls, telling someone on the other end that his son was dead. When police told him to get off the phone, Harris directed an expletive at them. Police then took his phone and handcuffed him. (More Justin Ross Harris stories.)

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