Anna Stubblefield Was a Facilitator Who Fell for a Non-Verbal Student — Things Went Too Far

Anna Stubblefield maintains that she and Derrick Johnson, a non-verbal man with cerebral palsy, fell in love.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jun. 12 2024, Published 10:21 p.m. ET

According to American University's School of Education, there's a big difference between a teacher and a facilitator. A teacher is an expert in a particular subject who then relays this information using curricula, presentations, and learning materials. A facilitator is someone who specializes in how one learns by focusing on improving the process by which they obtain information. In other words, they provide the skillsets needed to then learn from a teacher.

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Anna Stubblefield was a communications facilitator working with a non-verbal man who also had cerebral palsy, per After suffering from seizures as a child, Derrick Johnson was diagnosed with a mental disability. As he grew older, his family felt as if Johnson was trying to communicate with them. They hired Stubblefield who in 2011, admitted to having a sexual relationship with Johnson. This led to a trial as well as prison time for the facilitator. Where is Anna Stubblefield now?

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Where is Anna Stubblefield now? She has kept out of the public eye.

Since Stubblefield's conviction in October 2015, we learn in a documentary that life wasn't easy for her. Tell Them You Love Me includes interviews with Stubblefield, her ex-husband, as well as Johnson's family about the crimes she committed over a decade ago. Stubblefield revealed that she briefly worked as a server in a restaurant before a customer complaint led to her being let go. She now works from home.

It's important to note that Stubblefield still maintains she and Johnson had a consensual relationship deeply rooted in love. This seems to be refuted by stories such as Johnson's brother finding scrapes, cuts, and bruises on Johnson while changing his diaper. Dr. Howard Shane, the Director of the Center for Communication Enhancement at Boston Children’s Hospital, went on record to say that Johnson has the mental capacity of a six to 12-month-old child and couldn't have given informed consent.

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Anna Stubblefield eventually plead guilty to third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact.

After Stubblefield's conviction in October 2015 of first-degree sexual assault, she was sentenced to 12 years in prison, via In June 2017, an appellate court overturned the conviction when evidence that suggested Johnson was mentally capable of making his own decisions wasn't entered into the trial, according to

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Dr. Rosemary Crossley, an augmentative and alternative communication specialist from Australia, spent three days with Johnson where she tested him on his language and literacy skills. These sessions were recorded but were never included in the first trial. At the time, the court believed her area of expertise wasn't credible but the appellate court sided with Stubblefield's attorneys. Without being made aware of Crossley's opinion, the jury believed no expert agreed with Stubblefield.

In March 2018, reported that Stubblefield admitted she had "criminal sexual contact" with Johnson. She plead guilty to third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact as part of an agreement under which the Essex County Prosecutor's Office will recommend a four-year prison sentence." Stubblefield was then sentenced to time served.

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