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Jerry Sandusky's wife says she never saw inappropriate behavior

June 19, 2012|By Michael Muskal

Dottie Sandusky insisted in court Tuesday that she never saw her husband Jerry do anything inappropriate with any child and rebutted two accounts that the former Penn State football coach had sexually abused two young boys.

Dottie Sandusky’s testimony was the highlight in Tuesday’s proceedings as lawyers continued to build their defense of Sandusky, 68, charged with 51 counts of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period.

The defense, which is expected to conclude its presentation perhaps as soon as Wednesday, brought in witnesses who testified favorably about Sandusky’s character. Lawyers also continued their efforts to undermine the quality of the prosecution.

Also Tuesday an expert witness told how Sandusky suffered from histrionic personality disorder, a condition that might explain Sandusky's dramatic gestures such as giving gifts and love notes to boys who later accused the former coach of sexually abusing them.

PHOTOS: Who's who in the Sandusky case

Married to Jerry Sandusky for 45 years, Dottie specifically rejected the accounts of two of the eight accusers who took the stand and graphically told of their abuse.

During the prosecution’s presentation, the man identified as Victim 4 told how Jerry Sandusky had tried to force him to commit a sex act in the shower of a hotel bathroom during a football trip to the Alamo Bowl. The accuser said Dottie Sandusky walked in on them and ended the encounter.

But on the stand Tuesday, Dottie Sandusky said she entered the hotel room and saw both males fully clothed. Her husband was yelling, upset that the boy refused to go to a luncheon for which Sandusky had already purchased a $50 ticket.

Victim 4 “was very demanding and he was very conniving and he wanted his way and didn't listen a whole lot,” she testified, according to media reports from the courtroom.

She also said she did not hear the other accuser, identified as Victim 9, scream for help from the basement in the Sandusky home. The accuser had testified that he had called out because Jerry Sandusky was attempting to commit a sex act. The accuser also suggested that Dottie Sandusky may not have been able to hear because the basement was sound-proofed.

In her testimony, Dottie Sandusky said the basement was not sound-proof and that she had never heard cries for help.

When lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan III asked about her hearing, Dottie Sandusky snapped back: “I think it's pretty good. I hear lots of noises.”

Earlier, psychologist Elliot Atkins told jurors that he talked with Sandusky for six hours and diagnosed him with histrionic personality disorder. People with the disorder can display actions that are deemed inappropriately seductive, he said.

The prosecution has alleged that the gifts and the note are part of the grooming process in which a pedophile tries to win over a young victim,  then forces him into a sex act. The eight men who testified that they were sexually abused by Sandusky told jurors they received gifts including sports memorabilia and trips to football games from the former coach.

Atkins testified after the defense spent much of the morning questioning state police investigators about how they had interviewed prospective witnesses. The defense has argued that the questions in effect allowed for the sharing of information among the boys, whose accounts changed in each retelling.

Defense attorney Joseph Amendola asked retired Cpl. Joseph Leiter if investigators told interviewees about other possible victims. The investigator said he had, so that the victims would not feel isolated. Leiter insisted that he did not share details of the abuse, however.

But Amendola later read Leiter portions of an interview transcript in which the investigator told one witness of another case and mentioned specific sex acts.

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michael.muskal@latimes.com

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