Spanish Fort 18-year-old Cameron Harrison is back on house arrest with a GPS ankle monitor following a court hearing to amend the conditions of his bond in Fairhope on Tuesday.
In February, Harrison was indicted 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. Prosecutors say he raped a 16-year-old who was too drunk to consent at a house party in Daphne in October of 2015.
On Tuesday Assistant District Attorney Audrey Chalea Tisdale said Harrison violated the terms of his bond by going to the YMCA to work out without a parent present and said Harrison had been seen near the alleged victim at a Fairhope Mardi Gras parade and during a family trip to the beach for spring break.
As a defense witness his mother, Karen Harrison, said she has accompanied Cameron to the YMCA at all times but once, when she took him to the YMCA to work out she stayed in the car because she was feeling ill. The defense said she has gone to great lengths to supervise her son, even driving behind him when he jogs in their neighborhood.
In issuing his order, Judge Scott Taylor said that “sitting in the parking lot” while Harrison works out at the YMCA is not the same as accompanying him.
“(Harrison) has been in close proximity to the victim at least twice based on what we heard in testimony today,” Tisdale said in closing remarks, adding that the prosecution believes Harrison is not being adequately supervised.
Taylor ruled that while Harrison had not violated parts of the terms of his bond like passing drug and alcohol screenings, Harrison did violate the requirement that he be accompanied by his parents outside of the house.
Taylor ordered that Harrison wear a GPS ankle monitor and as part of his house arrest, he must notify community corrections and schedule any times when he will be out of his home. Harrison has been banned from the Spanish Fort High School campus since his arrest, but he is allowed to attend social events with a parent. He is allowed to leave the state for work or to visit family in Mississippi.
After the hearing, Harrison attorney John Beck said prosecutors don’t have any real evidence that Harrison violated the terms of his bond.
“His parents have gone to great lengths to make sure he does exactly what he is supposed to do,” Beck said.
Tisdale said she thought Taylor’s ruling was fair to both sides and that the GPS ankle monitor should remove any doubt about where Harrison goes and what he does.
“We wanted to be able to monitor where he is going at all times and now we can do that,” Tisdale said. “The house arrest means he can leave at any time for some specific reasons laid out by the judge, but he has to notify community corrections of everything he does.”
Harrison has also applied for youthful offender status, which would seal his record from public view and allow his case to be determined by a judge, not a jury. Tisdale said the District Attorney’s office opposes the move and a hearing is set in May.