A psychologist on ex-Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's defense witness list says the former coach has histrionic personality disorder.
The psychologist was expected to testify about his findings, possibly as soon as Tuesday, on the disorder characterized by an excessive need for attention and which he said explains Sandusky's e-mails and so-called grooming-type behavior toward his alleged victims, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Sandusky, 68, is on trial in Bellefonte, Pa., charged with 52 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys during a span of 15 years.
He has denied the allegations.
The prosecution rested Monday and Sandusky's lawyers began presenting their case with witnesses testifying about Sandusky's character and reputation.
Defense lawyers said they will use the psychologist's testimony to rebut prosecutors' accusations that "words, tones, requests, and statements" Sandusky made were meant to manipulate his victims.
Some independent experts consulted by the Inquirer said the disorder argument was shaky.
"If this was something where he needed attention, why not an age-appropriate affair or prostitutes? But he didn't do that," said Thomas Haworth, a psychologist at the Joseph J. Peters Institute in Philadelphia, a non-profit that treats sexual abuse victims and offenders.
Before entering the courtroom in Bellefonte, Pa., defense attorney Joe Amendola said the case was "like a soap opera," the State College Centre Daily Times reported.
"'All My Children,'" Amendola said.
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