Friday, September 11, 2015

Delusive love

Following the Stubblefield trial is emotionally rough. Yesterday's testimony mixes expressions of delusive love, misplaced trust, betrayal, perhaps rage, and reading it is gut wrenching.
A few months after disclosing her sexual relationship with a severely mentally disabled man, Rutgers-Newark professor Anna Stubblefield discussed their mutual love in a phone call with his mother.
"We love each other so much," Stubblefield told the man's mother. "He's the most important person in my life. I'm the most important person in his life.
"I'm lucky if I get through twenty minutes...of any day without thinking about him and that's how much I miss him."
But the police were listening in.
On Aug. 22, 2011, officials with the Essex County Prosecutor's Office recorded the mother's phone call to Stubblefield after the mother had consented to the recording. The mother made the call while accompanied by Plant and two other law enforcement officials.
On the call, the mother questioned Stubblefield about how she and D.J. had sex, and asked her to explain how their relationship reached that point.
"I need to know, were you two really sexually involved?" the mother asked Stubblefield.
Stubblefield said she and D.J. had been talking about their feelings for each other, and D.J. asked whether they could "do anything physical." Stubblefield said she told him they'd "have to experiment and find out."
When the mother pressed her for details on the sexual encounters, Stubblefield said her office has "enough floor space" and she brought in an exercise mat, a beach towel and condoms. Stubblefield said they had sex on two Sundays.
"We were able to make things work," Stubblefield said
But Stubblefield maintained that her relationship with D.J. was not primarily about the sex.
"We love each other very, very, very much and I wouldn't have sex with somebody that I didn't love," Stubblefield told the mother.
After the recording was played on Thursday, Plant asked D.J.'s mother why she ultimately terminated the phone call.
"Because I had had enough of what was being said and I was very emotional at that time," the mother testified.

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