Jerry Sandusky’s defense team filed a motion Monday that asked permission for a psychologist to testify about histrionic personality disorder, a psychiatric disorder characterized by dramatic, emotional and attention-seeking behavior.
The former Penn State assistant football coach is charged with 52 criminal counts of sexual abuse involving 10 boys over a 15-year period. The motion was intended to discount the prosecution’s argument that letters from Sandusky to the boys were not “grooming behavior” to lure them into an inappropriate sexual relationship.
The first witness in the trial, known as Victim No. 4, said the former coach sexually abused him and sent him “creepy love letters.” The defense said a psychologist will explain that the “words, tones, requests and statements” made in the letter are consistent with a person who suffers from a histrionic personality disorder, according to the motion.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, defines people with the personality disorder as having an excessive need for approval and exhibit inappropriate seductive behavior. The condition usually begins in early adulthood, and people with the condition are usually dramatic, energetic and flirtatious. “Histrionic” is a term meaning “dramatic or theatrical.”
According to Cleveland Clinic, people with the disorder usually have good social skills, but they tend to use those skills to manipulate others to make themselves the center of attention. Read more at ABC News