Spanish Fort 18-year-old Cameron Harrison has applied for youthful offender status following his indictment by a Baldwin County grand jury on one count of first degree rape for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with a female who was incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated.
According to court documents, the indictment was returned Feb. 17. Harrison is accused of raping an unconscious 16-year-old female student at a house party in Daphne in October of 2015.
The Baldwin County District Attorney’s office released a statement announcing its opposition to Harrison’s youthful offender status request and said a hearing on the request has not been set.
In Alabama, persons charged with crimes that occurred when they were under the age of 21 are eligible for youthful offender status, which seals their record from permanent view. Those granted youthful offender status also waive their right to a trial by jury, instead allowing the case to be decided by the presiding judge.
If, as in Harrison’s case, the charged offense is a felony, statutes reduce the range of punishment to a maximum sentence of three years. State law makes first-degree rape a Class A felony, which could carry a sentence of 10 to 99 years’ imprisonment.
Any record of the charge, arrest and court proceedings are made off limits and are not accessible to anyone not involved in the case. According to state law, once a person has been granted youthful offender status, even if they are found guilty of the charged offense the charge will not show up on their record as a conviction. Instead, the court will treat it as an adjudication.
On March 14, Harrison’s attorneys filed a motion to amend the conditions of his bond to allow him to leave the state to visit family in Mississippi and to extend the hours of his curfew to allow Harrison to work two jobs.
The District Attorney’s office is opposed to those changes, alleging in court documents that Harrison violated his bond conditions by leaving his home in the evening hours without his parents and was observed “within yards of the victim” at a recent Mardi Gras parade.
Court documents show that Baldwin County Assistant District Attorney Audrey Chalea Tisdale will prosecute the case. Harrison’s arraignment is set for April 20.
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