Jerry Sandusky's Defense Will Be Focus This Week

Justice SystemCrime, Law and JusticeJerry SanduskyNational Institutes of HealthCNN (tv network)John Cleland

The trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky continues Monday, with the defense expected to begin presenting its case.

Defense attorneys divulged more information last week about what the jury can expect to hear in the coming days.

Judge John Cleland granted a motion to allow an expert to testify about Sandusky’s “diagnosis of a histrionic personality disorder.”

CNN reports Sandusky was due to meet with a psychologist Sunday.

According to the National Institutes of Health, a histrionic personality disorder “is a condition in which people act in a very emotional and dramatic way that draws attention to themselves.” It’s more common in women than men and is typically treated through therapy.

In the defense’s motion to allow the testimony, defense attorneys said the purpose would be to proivde an explanation for Sandusky writing letters to his victims.

“And that the goal of a person suffering from this disorder in writing those letters would not necessarily be to groom or sexually consummate a relationship in a criminal manner, but rather to satisfy the needs of a psyche belabored by the needs of such a disorder,” attorneys wrote in the motion.

Fox43 legal analyst Steven Breit said this testimony could provide challenges for the defense.

Breit said, “This type of testimony is risky. Are we going to be labeling Sandusky as sick? And then, is the prosecution going to turn around and label him sick and bad?”  

It’s unclear whether Sandusky will testify on his own behalf, though attorney Joe Amendola suggested to the jury during opening statements that could indeed happen.

“I believe the jurors are going to want to hold him to that promise. If that promise does not come forth, I think Amendola will lose credibility with those jurors.”

As the alleged victims in the case took the stand last week, defense attorneys pressed them on various facts in the case, including dates and their interactions with Sandusky after the alleged crimes.

“This case is going to boil down to credibility of victims and how the jurors perceive their credibility,” said Breit.

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