Woman sent to prison for having sexual relationship with intellectually disabled man

Discussion in 'Law & Justice' started by kazenatsu, Jan 26, 2024.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

    May 15, 2017
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    A white 41 year old woman carried on a sexual relationship with a 30 year old black man who was disabled with cerebral palsy. The two were ostensibly in a loving relationship and the black man did not object.
    However, she was found guilty of "sexual assault" for this relationship and was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison.
    Following an appeal she was released two and a half years later and placed on the sex offender registry for life.

    The woman, Anna Stubblefield, was a professor of philosophy at Rutgers University in Newark. The alleged victim, Derrick Johnson, 30, was black, the son of a working class single mother, and suffered from cerebral palsy that had left him unable to walk or talk since birth.
    The case was also interesting since the defendant was a published expert on race and disability, and claimed that she acted out of love.

    The trial was in 2015 and she was released in 2018. Nick August-Perna made a video about it, a Sky documentary, Tell Them You Love Me.

    Stubblefield first met Derrick in 2009 after his elder brother John attended as a PhD student one of her courses at Rutgers in disability studies in which she talked about facilitated communication. The process involves a facilitator helping the user with a Neo keyboard, by supporting their arm as they type.
    After John approached Stubblefield about his brother, she agreed to begin teaching Derrick basic literacy at his home. Slowly, with Stubblefield’s assistance, Derrick was able type simple sentences on the Neo keyboard, including to Anna "I'm so happy to see you". After a while he was able to express something of his condition. "I am confined without the ability to speak," he wrote. Eventually it was agreed he would benefit from some education so he started attending a Saturday course at Rutgers in African-American literature.
    However, a speech pathologist named Howard Shane is skeptical about this experimental process of "facilitated communication", and diagnosed Derrick as having the mental capacity of a one year old.

    To make matters worse, Anna Stubblefield was married to another man, Roger Stubblefield and had a two children with him, at the time she initiated the relationship with Derrick. The marriage fell apart after the extramarital affair was revealed.
    Her husband Roger was a professional Tuba player.
    Anna Stubblefield was terminated from employment at the university after her arrest and will never be allowed to teach again.

    ‘Violent or tender?’: The professor who had sex with her disabled student - and divided America, by Claire Alfree, The Telegraph, 25 January, 2024

    In my opinion, I think the fact that she was 11 years older than him, that it was an interracial relationship, and that she was already married to another man, were all factors in why they decided to find her guilty.

    two related threads:
    Police officer jailed for consensual sex (Dec 13, 2023 )
    In an Iowa courtroom, an astonishing case of sex and Alzheimer s (posted by Nike Borzov, Apr 7, 2015 )

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