The state's experts have said the 34-year-old man, known as D.J., is unable to speak and has intellectual and physical disabilities, but Stubblefield claimed "he wasn't intellectually impaired at all," and that he could communicate by typing on a keyboard with her assistance.There's more like that here.The woman seems to be suffering from a folie a une.
"None whatsoever," Stubblefield said when her attorney asked if she had any doubts about whether the relationship was consensual. "Because I knew he was the one who was saying everything that he typed."
As they became romantically involved, Stubblefield said "it was initiated on both sides," and they made sure each other "was good with what was happening." She referred to their romance as "just a regular relationship."
It was obvious, Stubblefield said, that D.J. could consent to their sexual interactions.
"I wouldn't have fallen in love with him if he was somebody who wasn't capable of consent," Stubblefield said. "He was my best friend."
During cross-examination at her trial on charges of sexually assaulting the 34-year-old man, known as D.J., Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Eric Plant pressed Stubblefield about the sexual encounters and the controversial technique she claims to have used to communicate with him................
Plant said she "had him on the floor of your office with the door locked," and questioned her about when she "raped (D.J.) on the yoga mat on the carpet."
But Stubblefield said she and D.J. had fallen in love and were in a consensual relationship.
"I didn't have him on the floor," Stubblefield told Plant. "He and I were mutually together on the floor.
"I did not rape (D.J.)," she later added.
Stubblefield maintained D.J. was the one typing the messages, noting how he sometimes made mistakes and conveyed information she didn't know.
"It was very clear he was the author of his words. He certainly wasn't letting me call the shots or push him around in any way," Stubblefield said. "He wouldn't let me do anything that he didn't want me to do."
But Plant grilled her about the controversy surrounding facilitated communication, which critics have said is ineffective in light of studies showing facilitators influencing the users' messages."Before studies were conducted that showed the method is valid"? Really? In what way? Which studies were these? How were they designed? Who conducted them? Where were they published? How can a handful of poorly designed studies conducted by partisans of the method and published by in-house advocacy journals overcome the findings of the earlier studies?
Plant noted how various professional organizations have issued statements declaring the technique to be invalid.
"Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that facilitated communication is not a scientifically valid technique for individuals with autism or mental retardation," said Plant, quoting a policy statement issued by the American Psychological Association.
Stubblefield argued most of those statements were adopted in the 1990s before studies were conducted that showed the method is valid, and she claimed the organizations have not re-evaluated the technique.
Scott Lilienfeld, a psychology professor at Emory University, said there have never been any well-designed studies that show the technique is valid. Studies cited by advocates of the method have been poorly designed, Lilienfeld said.
In studies claiming the technique works, the facilitator saw the information that the disabled person was questioned about, Lilienfeld said.