A Cerebral Palsy Patient Was Raped By An Ex-Rutgers University Professor: 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.“My clients are victims of a horrible predator, and they’re wonderful people,” Charles S. Lorber, an attorney for the family, told NJ.com, adding that the defendant had “basically conceded the case.”“She’s got 12 years to think about it, and the judgment is good for 20,” he said.
A former attorney for Stubblefield told NJ.com that she represented herself in the lawsuit when the judgment came down.Cerebral Palsy Stubblefield, who once chaired the Rutgers philosophy department, was the subject of a deeply-reported New York Times Magazine piece last year that detailed how she met D.J. through his brother Wesley and slowly became obsessed with him.Wesley, identified only by his middle name, was taking one of Stubblefield’s classes when she showed a film about a non-verbal girl who learned to type through facilitated communication and eventually went to college. Wesley told Stubblefield about D.J. and she offered to help, according to the Times.
In the months that followed, Stubblefield purported that she had tapped some buried intellect in D.J., saying that with her hand guiding him he could type in complete sentences, express complex thoughts, and even read at a savant level.At trial, Stubblefield argued she didn’t rape D.J., saying the sex was consensual, according to NJ.com.“He wouldn’t let me do anything that he didn’t want me to do,” she testified.A jury disagreed, finding that D.J. was unable to give consent because of his mental capacity. Jurors convicted Stubblefield after less than three hours of deliberations.
At sentencing, a judge said her actions were “a perfect example of a predator preying.” D.J.’s brother fought back tears during the proceedings, according to the AP.
“She raped my brother,” Wesley said. “She tried to supplant his life with some version of life she thought was better.”