In 2011 philosophy professor Anna Stubblefield gave the man still referred to in the press as ‘D.J.’ oral sex after he pulled down his diapers in her Rutgers University office. This fact Stubblefield never once denied during her court case, and the jury heard every last detail about the two times the unlikely couple had sex.
Stubblefield was convicted of aggravated sexual assault after that trial this past September — all because of her affair with with a man with cerebral palsy.
Stubblefield denies she raped D.J., however, and still claims the two are in love, even though she was married at the time of the affair and has two children from that marriage.
Because D.J. has cerebral palsy and is mute, he showed no reaction during the trial, which took place recently, four years after the two last saw each other. Her attorneys say D.J had been strategically placed where he couldn’t see her, to further feed the illusion that their relationship was a complete manipulation — grooming even — on the part of Stubblefield. .
An esteemed professor, Stubblefield says that during her time of giving physical assistance to D.J., to make it possible for him to have verbal contract with the outside world via a keyboard, she found that he was very intelligent. He can read, write well and has complex thoughts, she and others testified. His silence, her attorneys argued, is not proof of a cognitive disability. For 30 years, they argued, D.J was locked up in silence — until he met Stubblefield, who helped him begin writing on a keyboard. His guardians have taken away his ability to write since the incident with Stubblefield, who compares D.J’s situation with a life’s sentence.
If it weren’t for the full capacity of his mind, Stubblefield’s attorneys argued that she wouldn’t have pursued the relationship. She certainly wouldn’t have told his mother about the affair and that she was leaving her husband for her son.
Despite his intelligence, D.J. cannot speak and is unable to eat, go to the bathroom or even type by himself. He’s also black, she’s white, and that complicates the situation even further. His mother and brother are his legal guardians and they’ve accused her of condescending them and telling them what’s best for D.J. because they are black and she assumes racial superiority.
Throughout her trial, several benches in the courtroom were filled with Stubblefield’s friends and fellow activists: Nick Pentzell, the autistic man from Pennsylvania and Devva Kasnitz, an anthropologist and former president of the Society for Disability Studies, who has a severe speech impediment. Their testimonies that affirmed the idea that D.J was not mentally handicapped and therefore his consent was valid did nothing for her case.
Stubblefield’s sentencing is supposed to take place Nov 9th. She faces 10 to 20 years for each of the two times she had sex with D.J.
What do you make of this case? Is it possible the two are in love? If so, aren’t they both in prison in a sense? Share your thoughts below.