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Sandusky Trial: Judge Grants Defense's Request for Expert Testimony on `Histrionic Personality'

by on June 15, 2012 3:10 PM

Judge John Cleland granted Sandusky lawyer Joe Amendola's request to allow expert testimony in an attempt to provide evidence of the former assistant coach's histrionic personality disorder.

In a one-page document filed Friday, Cleland granted the defense's request and required that Sandusky make himself available to the Commonwealth so the prosecution can prepare an appropriate rebuttal during cross-examination.

On Monday, Amendola filed documents that said the intention of providing expert witness testimony is to prove that Sandusky's relationship with children was never sexual in nature. He made specific mention of the "love letters" investigators from the Attorney General's Office found. The letters were addressed to Alleged Victim 4.

Victim 4 identified Sandusky's handwriting when he was presented with copies of the letters during his testimony on the first day of trial.

The letters' content includes pleas for more attention and a longing for Victim 4. One, titled "The BJ Story," talks about a man named "Jer" who feels abandoned by his friend who has stopped making time for him.

Amendola wrote in the document filed Monday:

"Basically the psychologist will explain that the words, tones, requests and statements made in the letter are consistent with a person suffering from a Histrionic Personality Disorder. And that the goal of a person suffering from this disorder in writing those letters would not necessarily be to groom or consummate a relationship in a criminal matter, but rather to satisfy the needs of a psyche belabored by the needs of such a disorder. 

The prosecution has not officially recessed its case but court is not in session Friday. The trial will resume on Monday and the defense is expected to call its first witness.

Court resumes at 9 a.m. Monday in Courtroom 1 of the Centre County Courthouse.

Sandusky, 68, faces 52 counts in a child sexual abuse case. He is alleged to have abused 10 boys over a 15-year period.

He maintains his innocence.

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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