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Psychologist testifies Jerry Sandusky has personality disorder

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives Centre County Courthouse Bellefonte Pa. Tuesday June 19 2012. Sandusky

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, June 19, 2012. Sandusky is charged with 51 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys over a period of 15 years. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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BELLEFONTE, Pa. — A psychologist testifying for the defense in the Jerry Sandusky trial says the former Penn State assistant football coach has a personality disorder characterized by excessive emotionality and attention seeking.

Elliot Atkins says Tuesday that he interviewed Sandusky for six hours before diagnosing the ex-coach with “histrionic personality disorder.” Atkins says people with the disorder often interact with people in inappropriately seductive ways and don’t feel comfortable unless they’re the center of attention.

Sandusky’s attorney is hoping to convince jurors that the disorder could explain his client’s letters and other interaction that prosecutors allege shows his grooming of victims.

Sandusky is charged with 51 counts involving 10 boys. He denies the allegations.

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