SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Matthew Stewart, a former Catawba College student-athlete From Beaufort, SC, pleaded guilty in court this week in a sexual assault case from 2012.
Stewart, a former soccer player for the school, pleaded as part of Alford Plea and was given a suspended sentence and eighteen months of supervised probation.
In an Alford Plea the defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges that there is evidence that could lead to a conviction.
Police say Stewart, 26, and the alleged victim were attending a party at the Hollifield dorm in April of 2012. According to the report, the woman left the party and went down a stairwell. Stewart followed her, and the two sat down and talked, the report states.
At some point during the conversation, police say Stewart assaulted the woman, putting his hands in her pants despite her pleas for him to stop. Police say Stewart then pushed the woman against the wall and raped her. The woman continued to push against Stewart in an attempt to get away, according to police.
After the incident, the woman contacted a school official who told her to call her parents and then go to the hospital. Once at the hospital, workers in the Emergency Department contacted police.
The victim told The Salisbury Post that she was satisfied with the outcome.
"I ran the risk with going to trial and a jury not reaching a unanimous decision and him walking away," she said.
Stewart was originally charged with second degree rape, but pleaded guilty to felony crime against nature.