An Alabama teenager on Monday testified she and hot-car murder defendant Ross Harris exchanged lewd photos of their genitals and engaged in sexual banter just weeks before Harris’ 22-month-old son’s death.
The 17-year-old, whose identity was shielded by Judge Mary Staley Clark, was 15 years old at the time she and Harris began exchanging sexual messages. They first began communicating with one another on the anonymous service called Whisper and later on another service called Kik.
Through the teenager’s testimony, Cobb prosecutor Chuck Boring introduced into evidence the photo of Harris’s penis that he sent to the girl. He then showed jurors that very photo.
“I apologize,” Boring said, his eyes down, while holding up the photo and walking the length of the jury box.
Harris and the teenager began exchanging messages in May 2014, when the girl posted, “I love older guys,” on Whisper. At first, she said, she lied about her age, saying she was 18.
Harris soon responded and told her he was 33 years old. He then sent her a selfie photo of himself.
Later, Harris messaged her the photo of his penis. After chatting 21 minutes, the teen then responded by sending him a photo of her genital area. After that, they engaged in another 30 minutes of sexually explicit chats.
Eventually, the girl told Harris she was actually 15 years old. But that didn’t seem to deter him.
“He told me he wanted me to make him a naughty old man,” she testified, adding he said he wanted to have sex with her.
The 17-year-old testified matter-of-factly on the witness stand. After leaving the courtroom, she hugged an older woman who sat next to her before she took the stand and was waiting for her in the hallway.