Inside Anna Stubblefield's Case Featured in Hit Netflix Documentary “Tell Them You Love Me”

The former university professor claimed she fell in love with a nonverbal man with severe disabilities, but prosecutors claimed she sexually abused him

<p>Robert Sciarrino/NJ Advance Media via AP</p> Anna Stubblefield in Jan. 15, 2016

Robert Sciarrino/NJ Advance Media via AP

Anna Stubblefield in Jan. 15, 2016

Anna Stubblefield — a former college professor — is at the center of Netflix's newest true-crime documentary, Tell Them You Love Me. The documentary follows Stubblefield's claims of falling in love with a nonverbal man with disabilities and the court case that followed, which resulted in two sexual assault convictions, prison time and an unexpected reversal of the court's decision — before Stubblefield's ultimate plea deal.

Here is everything to know about Anna Stubblefield and where she is today.

Who is Anna Stubblefield?

Anna Stubblefield was a professor at Rutgers University's campus in Newark, N.J., when she met Derek Johnson in 2009 through his brother, a student at the university, reported. Johnson, who has cerebral palsy, cannot speak or take care of himself. Years before Johnson and Stubblefield met, Johnson was declared incompetent to handle his own affairs and his mother and brother were named as his legal guardians, reported.

When Stubblefield showed her class a film about facilitated communication — a widely discredited technique to help people with disabilities communicate — Johnson's brother was curious if it could help Johnson communicate for the first time in his life. Stubblefield then began having meetings with Johnson and his family and worked as his "facilitator," reported. Eventually the meetings consisted of only Stubblefield and Johnson.

Two years later, on Memorial Day 2011, Stubblefield — who was married with two children at the time — went to the Johnson family home and announced that she and Johnson were in love, The New York Times reported in 2015. According to, she also kissed Johnson in front of his family on this day.The Times reported that Johnson was previously declared to "have the mental capacity of a toddler," so her assertion shocked his family.

A lawsuit and criminal case followed with Stubblefield subsequently being charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault.

<p>Robert Sciarrino/NJ Advance Media via AP</p> Zoe Stubblefield, left, and Anna Stubblefield on Jan. 15, 2016 at Anna's sentencing

Robert Sciarrino/NJ Advance Media via AP

Zoe Stubblefield, left, and Anna Stubblefield on Jan. 15, 2016 at Anna's sentencing

What is facilitated communication?

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), facilitated communication is a "discredited technique that should not be used."

The technique "involves a person with a disability pointing to letters, pictures, or objects on a keyboard or on a communication board, typically with physical support from a 'facilitator,'" according to ASHA.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

The association adds that it is a discredited technique "due to a lack of scientific validity and reliability," and that there is scientific evidence that shows the "facilitators" are the ones creating the messages rather than the person with disabilities.

What was Anna Stubblefield convicted of?

In 2015, Stubblefield was convicted of two counts of first-­degree aggravated sexual assault, The New York Times reported. During the trial, Essex County prosecutors claimed that due to Johnson's mental disabilities, he was not able to give consent.

She was sentenced to two 12-year prison terms to serve consecutively. However, in 2017, those convictions were overturned and Stubblefield was granted a new trial after a judge ruled she did not receive a fair trial, reported.

The following year, Stubblefield took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact. She was sentenced to time served and released from prison.

<p>Essex County Correctional Facility</p> Anna Stubblefield

Essex County Correctional Facility

Anna Stubblefield

Where is Anna Stubblefield now?

Since her prison release, Stubblefield has stayed largely out of the public eye, but she is featured in Tell Them You Love Me. Although she eventually did plead guilty to sexual contact, she is seemingly still defending her actions, stating at one point, "I'm not guilty of a crime."

She is now divorced from Roger Stubblefield who she shares two children with, per The New York Times.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to

Tell Them You Love Me is now streaming on Netflix.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.