In a civil case, Anna Stubblefield was ordered to pay the guardians of the man she was convicted of raping damages of 4 million. This order is more of an expressive act rather than an imposition of realistic obligation, since Stubblefield's ability to pay it is as vaporous as the reliability of the facilitated communication techniques she used to convince herself that she and D.J. were in love.
Anna Stubblefield was a tenured professor of ethics at Rutgers University when she fell in love with D.J., the brother of one of her students.This was a default judgment in the civil lawsuit against Stubblefield.
The romantic feelings welled up in her sometime in 2010, less than a year after she started working with him. The two read books, drank wine, even wrote an essay together that D.J. presented at a conference in Philadelphia, Stubblefield said.
Stubblefield, who was married with two children, said her emotions ran so strong that she was willing to leave her family behind to be with him.
“I’m in love with you the whole way,” she told D.J. at one point, as reported by the New York Times.
Stubblefield said she had sex with D.J. in 2011 on the floor of her office on Rutgers campus in Newark, N.J. When they finished, she claimed D.J. told her: “I feel alive for the first time in my life.”
It was an incredible assertion. D.J. likely could not have even have grasped what was happening, much less reciprocated Stubblefield’s feelings.
D.J., now 35, has cerebral palsy. Years before Stubblefield came into his life, a state doctor found that he had the mental capacity of a toddler, unable to carry out “preschool-level tasks,” according to the Times. He is five feet tall, non-verbal and can only walk if someone is there to balance him.
Stubblefield, 46, had convinced D.J.’s family that she could help him speak by using “facilitated communication,” a widely-discredited method of teaching people with mental disabilities how to type messages.
It took many months, but D.J.’s mother and brother eventually came to believe it was all a sham.
In 2011, when Stubblefield confessed that she was in love with D.J., they pursued a criminal case.
A year ago, she was convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault, the same crime used to charge violent rapists. A judge sentenced her to 12 years in prison.
Now, she’s facing another punishment: $4 million in damages.
A judge in Essex County, N.J., has ordered Stubblefield to pay $2 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages to D.J. and his family in the civil case stemming from the assault, NJ.com reported Tuesday.