Former Professor Admits to Assaulting Disabled Man

March 23, 2018

Anna Stubblefield, the former chair of philosophy at Rutgers University at Newark, said this week that she sexually assaulted a disabled man, after years of insisting that she and the man were in love and had engaged in a consensual relationship. Her admission of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact was part of a plea deal under which the Essex County prosecutor’s office will recommend a four-year prison sentence, according to NJ.com

Stubblefield was originally convicted of assault in the case and sentenced to concurrent 12-year prison terms, in 2015. But an appeals court overturned the conviction last year, saying that she should have been able to present blocked evidence from an expert in facilitated communication. That’s the highly controversial form of communication through which Stubblefield long said she communicated with the man known in court documents as D. J. The man’s family said that Stubblefield raped him, since he was unable to talk or give consent due to a severely limited intellectual capacity stemming from cerebral palsy. Stubblefield and D. J. began working together in 2008 after the man’s brother, a former student of Stubblefield’s, asked her if facilitated communication might help him.

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