Georgia Dad Accused in Hot Car Death Indicted on Charges of Sexually Exploiting Minors

Georgia Hot Car Death: Suspect Justin Ross Harris Indicted on New Charges
Justin Ross Harris
Kelly J. Huff/Marietta Daily Journal/AP

03/06/2016 AT 10:00 AM EST

A Georgia dad, set to go to trial in April on charges he intentionally left his toddler son to die in a hot car in 2014, was indicted last week on charges he sexually exploited minors, NBC News reports.

Harris was indicted by a Cobb County grand jury on two counts of sexual exploitation of children and six counts of disseminating harmful material to minors, according to the network.

"The indictment is stemming from an alleged exchange of lewd photos with two underage girls and sending nude photos to another underage girl, and then engaging in sexually explicit conversations with all three from January to May 2014," according to the network.

Harris was previously indicted for malice murder, among other charges, in the death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Cooper died on June 18, 2014, after being left for hours in an SUV in the parking lot of Home Depot, where Harris worked, authorities have said.

Harris has maintained the death was an accident. But he was arrested the night of Cooper's death and has been held without bond in a Cobb jail ever since, according to the AJC.

Harris has pleaded not guilty to those charges, according to the paper. It was not immediately clear if he has entered a plea to the new charges.

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In a statement Friday, Harris' attorney called the new indictment a "calculated maneuver to inflame public opinion" before jury selection in the murder trial, according to the AJC.

"After more than a 20-month investigation into every imaginable detail of Ross Harris' life, this new indictment alleges no acts of cruelty, no deprivation, no abuse, nor any neglect of Cooper," Maddox Kilgore said. "The content and timing of this indictment confirms the absence of such evidence, and it signals the state's desperation to convict Ross of the worst mistake any of us as parents could make."

(Kilgore did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.)

Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds said, in a statement to PEOPLE, "This case will not be tried by the state in the media. The recent indictment is based on advances in electronic forensic analysis in conjunction with recent interviews of newly discovered victims."

Reynolds continued, "Had the state delayed charging any further, prosecution of some of the charges would have barred by the statute of limitations."

According to the AJC, "Neither side denies Harris was actively engaged in sexual online chats with numerous women."

Harris will be tried separately on these new charges, according to the paper.
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