Tonight, ABC News’ 20/20 will investigate two teen lives that were forever changed by a night of underage drinking.
After a police investigation centering on an incident that took place at a party on October 25, 2015, 18-year-old Cameron Harrison was charged with the rape of his classmate, 16-year-old Savannah. Tonight, ABC will exclusively interview Savannah about the alleged rape.
Speaking to the outlet, Savannah says the last thing she remembers from the night of the party is standing in the kitchen as the people around her sang Happy Birthday. Her close friend, who was given the name Jessica for her interview on 20/20 tonight, tells ABC, “All of a sudden I see someone carrying her up the stairs. It was probably four people that were carrying her up the stairs, like she was a doll basically, like they just, like, each had like a limb. And I was like, ‘What the heck, when did this happen?’” Jessica says that when she went to check on her friend 15 minutes later, the door was locked. Another boy helped her open it, and that’s when she says she saw Harrison naked, engaging in sexual activity with Savannah.
The following day, Jessica informed Savannah that she had had sex with Cameron the night before, but Savannah could not remember anything. She then told her friend not to say anything to anyone else about the incident. Savannah tells ABC, “I was still kind of new, and he was who he was, so I knew that it’d be pointless to try and say something… I just felt like he took advantage of me.” Later, when Savannah was discussing the incident with friends, a teacher overheard, and sent her to the guidance counselors office, where she relayed her version of the story.
One week after the party, Cameron Harrison was arrested for first-degree rape. Read on to learn more about him.
1. He Was Charged With First Degree Rape at Age 18
A week after the party, Harrison was arrested for first-degree rape and was kicked off his high school’s football team. On July 8, 2016, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In her interview with ABC, Savannah admits that she has no recollection of many of the events that took place on the night of October 25. She also acknowledges that she consumed too much to drink that evening. “I had been to parties. I had drank, and I had been around alcohol but not to this level … I was just stupid. I wasn’t thinking of the consequences it would have on my body to do that,” she says.
According to the outlet, Cameron approached Savannah’s father after the incident to apologize– a teacher advised he do so. Savannah’s father tells ABC, “[He said] he only did our daughter for five minutes … only five minutes. I told him to get the f— off my property.”
2. He Was Granted Youthful Offender Status in April 2017
In April, Fox 10 learned that Harrison had been granted youthful offender status. His attorney reportedly said in a statement, “The Baldwin County District Attorneys Office and the attorneys for Cameron Harrison have resolved this ongoing case to the satisfaction of all parties involved. Since part of the agreement involves youthful offender status for Mr. Harrison, the details of the agreement are confidential.”
A youthful offender is defined as a 16, 17, or 18 year old who commits a crime and is treated as an adult. A youthful offender record is not a criminal record and doesn’t have to be reported on college applications or work as a criminal charge, according to NY Courts.
According to ABC, Harrison and his family hoped to speak to 20/20 for tonight’s episode, but the terms of his plea prevented him from doing so.
3. The Case Is Said to Have ‘Divided’ the Town
Multiple outlets have reported that the case “divided” the town of Spanish Fort.
While some people claim that Savannah was very intoxicated the night of the party, others say they don’t recall her being overly intoxicated.
Jessica tells ABC that it was visibly evident her friend had too much to drink. One of Harrison’s friends, Aly, however, says Savannah did not appear to be out of control. One of Cameron’s friends, Haley, tells ABC, “She was laughing, and she was fine… She was like, ‘No, I want to go back downstairs.’”
4. Harrison Was Put on House Arrest
In April of last year, a judge ruled that Harrison had violated the conditions of his bond and he was put back under house arrest. His mother, Karen Harrison, was asked to testify as a defense witness, and said that she stayed in the parking lot of a YMCA while her son worked out.
The bond restrictions said Harrison was required to be directly under parental supervision. According to WTOC, the judge did ease certain restrictions, like allowing him to attend senior class events with a parent present.
5. Harrison and the Alleged Victim Did Not Know One Another Well at the Time of the Incident
Sitting down with ABC News tonight, Savannah explains that she and Cameron did not know one another well when the supposed incident took place. “I knew of him. We had math together, but I had never, like, hung out with him or anything,” she says.
She also discusses a source of skepticism in the case– the fact that the week after the party, she sent Cameron a Snapchat message that read, U didn’t rape me. I mean u took advantage of me but I forgive you and I know you were drunk [sic].”