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Defense’s Psychologist Testifies In Jerry Sandusky Trial

Jerry Sandusky

(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

BELLEFONTE (KDKA) – Defense testimony resumed Tuesday in the child sex abuse trial for Jerry Sandusky.

Tuesday afternoon, a psychologist took the stand to discuss a six-hour interview with Sandusky.

The judge made it clear to the jury that the psychologist was there only to explain letters they were shown and not to make excuses for any behavior they heard about.

The psychologist reviewed letters and victim statements and concluded Sandusky suffers from histrionic personality disorder.

“The letters represent his hurt and disappointment that he would not be getting anything in return for his commitment to the relationship,” Dr. Elliot Atkins said.

Jurors also saw examples from one particular letter reading, “I write because of the churning in my own stomach when you don’t care” and “I write because I still hope that there will be meaning to the time we have known each other.”

Dr. Atkins was retained by the defense at rate of $375 per hour.

Earlier in the day, the defense focused on the alleged victims and their attorneys. They were trying to paint a picture that investigators egged the alleged victims on to say things they hadn’t previously said.

The jury heard a portion of a taped interview with a trooper, lawyer and alleged victim No. 4 from April of last year.

While the alleged victim was on a smoke break, the lawyer and trooper were talking strategy about how to get him to open up about his encounters with Sandusky because he had been reluctant to talk about specifics.

The defense sees it as planting the seeds of a good story by the trooper and the lawyer.

Defense Attorney Joe Amendola: Do you recall telling him, “Before we start again, I want you to know you’re not the first person we’ve interviewed. We’ve interviewed nine…A lot of things you told us are very similar to the others. I don’t want you to feel ashamed because you’re a victim in this thing. You need to tell us graphically as you can what happened?’

Trooper Joseph Leiter: If that’s what’s on the tape then that’s what I said.

The jury also heard from more character witnesses.

“He’s wonderful – he’s a wonderful, wonderful man,” Joyce Porter said. “And when you’ve known somebody for 40 years, you know them and you don’t believe what other people say.”

Former Penn State football player and former NY Jet Lance Mehl said Sandusky’s reputation was, “…very good. We all looked up to him as a class act.”

A psychiatrist for the prosecution took the stand late Tuesday afternoon serving as a rebuttal witness. He spoke to Jerry Sandusky at his home for two to three hours on Sunday.

He described Sandusky as a highly-functional individual who worked as a football coach and founded a charity and saw no signs that Sandusky was suffering from any type of personality disorder.

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