- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Prosecutors challenged the methods a Rutgers University professor claims she used to communicate with a disabled man who she’s accused of sexually assaulting in her office in 2011.

James Todd, a psychology professor at Eastern Michigan University, testified Wednesday that facilitated communication, the method 45-year-old Anna Stubblefield used to interact with the 34-year-old man, is invalid, NJ.com reported (https://bit.ly/1JGKaNZ).

“There are zero methodologically sound studies showing facilitated communication actually works,” Todd said of the technique, in which Stubblefield used the man’s hands to help him type on a keyboard. “It’s become the single most scientifically discredited intervention in all of developmental disabilities.”

But Stubblefield’s attorney, James Patton, said on cross-examination that Todd has “a lot of people that disagree” with him on the validity of the technique. He said peer reviewed articles have been published saying the method is effective.

Stubblefield is facing aggravated sexual assault charges for allegedly abusing the man - known as DJ - in her office. DJ has cerebral palsy and does not speak.

Stubblefield, of West Orange, claimed she and DJ had fallen in love and that he consented to the sexual activity through facilitated communication.

The judge has barred expert testimony on facilitated communication, determining it’s “not a recognized science.”

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Information from: NJ Advance Media.

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