A Wenatchee man accused of possessing and distributing child pornography entered an Alford Plea to Chelan County Superior Court Thursday.

An Alford Plea means that the defendant can still maintain their innocence, but recognizes that the prosecution may find enough evidence to find them guilty if the case went to trial.

48-year-old Stephen Jay Matthews faces multiple charges, including rape of a child in the first and second-degree, three counts of domestic violence, and multiple counts of possession and distribution of child pornography.

On Nov. 5, 2020, Matthews was arrested for possessing and distributing child pornography between 2019 and 2020, after the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) tracked an IP address tied to multiple child porn exchanges that belonged to Matthews.

Matthews faces an 18-year prison sentence. His plea deal would also protect him from federal prosecution in the future.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 16, 2023.

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