clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jerry Sandusky Trial: Experts Question Proposed Psychiatric Disorder Defense

Jerry Sandusky's defense team continues to progress through their case, with arguments potentially ending as early as Wednesday and jury deliberations beginning as early as Thursday. One defense that Sandusky's lawyers have articulated is a personality disorder. They have said he suffers from histrionic personality disorder, via the AP:

It's defined by the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual as "a pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking" that is "often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior" and rapidly shifting emotions.

But the AP also cited one expert, Dr. Renato Alarcon of the Mayo Clinic, who said that histrionic personality disorder has been removed from the DSM-V -- the "bible" of mental illness. Another expert quoted by the AP, Glen Gabbard, intimated that this defense is a red herring, and not a plausible explanation for Sandusky's alleged criminal acts:

"That diagnosis, if he has it, would be completely irrelevant to anything having to do with criminal responsibility for acts of pedophilia," said Gabbard, an expert on personality disorders.

After an abrupt end to the trial on Monday, the defense will continue its case on Tuesday morning.

Continue following this StoryStream for more news on the entire Penn State scandal, including the Graham Spanier investigation and the Jerry Sandusky trial.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.