NewsNation | June 18, 2012
>> is psychiatrist dr. gayle saltsman from new york cornell presbyterian center. we know part of what we may hear from the defense is that jerry sandusky has this histrionic personality disorder . explain to our audience what that is and how it would even relate to any behavior here.
>> personality disorder is a long-standing history of things about your personality. in this case we're talking about someone who is overly dramatic, needs to be the center of attention at all times, who may have some boundary problems and that they act sort of overly involved with people very quickly like hi, nice to meet you, suddenly i think you're very close to me. that's probably what they're thinking when they're bringing this up.
>> how would it relate to anything, any of the allegations?
>> they're probably going to say these over involved letters that seem too emotional and loving are because he has poor boundaries and he felt over involved with these boys. however, this really doesn't make any sense to be honest because this diagnosis first of all would be a life-long pattern with all relationships not just with boys. it wouldn't account for any kind of sexual behavior that's really inappropriate. and this personality disorder does not affect one's ability to know the difference between right and wrong, legal and illegal. it certainly wouldn't account for really crossing the line in the kinds of ways that we've heard.
>> have you ever heard of this behavior or disorder being brought up in a child molestation , child sexual abuse case?
>> honestly, no. and it seems really far fetched or pretty out there. first of all, this is a diagnosis that is made almost always in women. usually in their adolescent, young adult years. it's very unusual to say something like this about a man and, to be honest, tamron, this is a diagnosis that may be phased out in the next manual because i think there are some real questions about whether this is an appropriate diagnosis to be making.
>> let me bring in katherine king the former prosecutor running for attorney general of pennsylvania . thank you for joining us again today. as i pointed out with michael isakoff emotional testimony from alleged victims out the gate when we were going, when the prosecution started to present its case against sandusky today as pointed out by michael we're hearing from defense witnesses who are talking about sandusky 's good reputation, not the charges that he's facing.
>> that's right. that's typical in a defense case. they want to come right out in front of the jury and establish the scenario that this is a very good person and if he is such a good person in the community then he couldn't possibly have committed the crimes that the prosecution is alleging.
>> but, again, when you look at the magnitude, the extraordinary magnitude, you've got jurors last week, kathleen, weeping while hearing the testimony from one of the alleged victims here. do you believe that this -- you're a prosecution expert, but you know how to wear both hats here. is it wise to come out this way with people saying, yeah. he's a really good guy. he really cared about kids, and not deal with even if they're planning to present this case with this disorder here, not come out with that immediately?
>> the way that i see this is the prosecution put on such a strong case and the witnesses were so powerful beginning right to the very end the defense virtually has no defense unless they put jerry sandusky on to say i did not do this, i would never do this, they have no defense . so they have to put somebody up on the witness stand so they'll parade people up there saying that he's a good person leaving in the jury's mind that, well, he is such a good person. maybe he couldn't have done it. but i don't see that that is going to overpower the prosecution's case. the prosecution put in a blockbuster case.
>> and the prosecution has asked for this unaired portion of the interview sandusky did with bob costas , this portion where he talked about some kids never misinterpreted his actions. the answer itself would be seen by many as concerning at least the way he articulated his relationship with some kid then with other kids. with all of that said here this all could come down to either jerry sandusky taking the stand or his wife dottie. let me first talk to you about the likelihood of the wife taking the stand . does she bring any credibility to this story, to his defense here?
>> no, she doesn't. all she brings is sympathy really. all she does is try and humanize her husband, make him sound like he's a good family man, a good father, a good husband. but she wasn't present during any of the alleged crimes so she offers nothing to the defense .
>> but let me bring you back in. at least one of the victims says he screamed for help. he believed someone else was in the home possibly the wife. this was happening in overnight sleepovers. there's been no indication she would leave the home and stay with a friend or stay at a hotel. at some point some of these allegations come to more than one person being in the home. psychology wise, with spouses of people accused of being child molesters , people accused of sexual assault here, could there be a blind eye for just the sheer trauma of the individual you're sharing your life with?
>> absolutely. a hundred percent. in fact, it's often the case that people who are sexual predators are married to someone who basically has employed incredible denial because it's been fairly obvious and they have really used it now because they can't see their spouse in that way. they do turn a blind eye . maybe not even conscious but they don't see what is going on. this idea of him being such a good character, there are plenty of people who appear like good characters in the community and, really, are something very, very different.
>> they're allowed to have access to these children --
>> historically we've seen plenty of these people.
>> people of trust.
>> i have to ask you the odds of jerry sandusky , i can't go back enough to this interview we all watched with bob costas seeing how he handled himself then, many months ago. his attorneys likely have worked with him on what he could say on the stand . with that said and with this alleged histrionic personality disorder would you take the gamble and put him on the stand ?
>> i would not. i mean, as a prosecutor i would love to see jerry sandusky go on the stand . the prosecution can cross examine him on so many things that he has said and didn't say. for example, in that interview, the unaired portion, he says that he did not go after every child. that doesn't mean he didn't go after any child. and the prosecution can make a damning cross examination , so as a prosecutor i'd love to see him go on the stand . if i was a defense attorney i would never take that chance. he does not do well. he does not -- he's not a good liar. i think that he really exposes himself when he gives these interviews by what he says and by what he doesn't say, by his demeanor, by the way that he does not answer the question right away. he hesitates. he repeats the question, looking for the right answer. there are a number of reasons why as a defense attorney i would never put him on the stand . i hope he does testify.
>> we will see what his defense puts together to perhaps explain his disorder that they may bring up in this case and his behavior. thank you very much. greatly appreciate