BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — 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 said today 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.

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

(Copyright 2012 by the Associated Press.  All rights reserved.)

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