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All Eyes Turn to Defense: Possible Witnesses

It took less than a week for the prosecution to present its case to the jury — days quicker than what was initially anticipated. On Monday, Joe Amendola and the rest of his defense team are expected to call their first witness.

Here are some potential witnesses who are expected to testify this week:

Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) Expert

On Friday, Judge Cleland ruled that the defense may call an expert witness to explain Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) to the jury. The American Psychiatric Association defines HPD as “A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, beginning by early adulthood.” Expert witnesses usually aren’t permitted in PA court, but since the jury isn’t likely educated about HPD, Judge Cleland will allow it. The defense will attempt to utilize this expert to explain that the language used in the letters written to Victim 4 is consistent with those diagnosed with HPD.

Read more about HPD here.

Legal Analyst, Roger Canaff, breaks down the HPD Defense.

Prosecution Psychologist

In response to the defense’s expert witness, the prosecution will be permitted to call their own psychologist for a rebuttal. On Sunday afternoon, Sandusky reportedly met with a psychologist for over two hours. According to Victim 1’s attorney, Slade McLaughlin, the defense tactic could backfire. The prosecution psychiatrist can determine whether Sandusky has HPD, but they can also expose other mental illnesses such as pedophilia.

Character witnesses

Joe Amendola will likely call many people who’ve had pleasurable experiences with Sandusky, including past Second Mile participants who were not abused, to testify. The defense will attempt to use these witnesses to portray Sandusky as someone who wouldn’t possibly commit the crimes he’s charged with.

Dr. Jonathan Dranov

Dr. Dranov is a State College physician and lifelong friend of John McQueary. Dranov sat in on the conversation where Mike McQueary told his father what happened on the night of February 9th, 2001. However, Dranov’s grand jury testimony is slightly different from McQueary’s. Dranov insists that he asked McQueary three times if he had seen anything sexual, all three times McQueary responded no. Don’t be surprised if Amendola calls Dr. Dranov to the stand in an attempt to whittle down McQueary’s credibility.

Dottie Sandusky

Perhaps the second-best defense witness besides Sandusky himself is his wife Dottie. She has been married to Sandusky for over 45 years, however, many questions come to mind regarding Dottie Sandusky: Where has she been all of this time? How can she refute the idea that her husband is abusive if she’s alleged never observed any actual crime? Is she in denial that she wedded an alleged pedophile? How effective will her testimony be after the jury heard that Victim 9’s screams for help went unanswered?

All of these questions should soon be answered.

Jerry Sandusky

In his opening statements, Amendola alluded that Sandusky would testify at some point. He put his client on national TV back in November, so why not throw him in front of the jury? I’d expect him to be the last person called to testify.

What will he say? I don’t think anyone really knows.

Other possible witnesses: Jay Paterno, Sue Paterno, Jack Raykovitz, Sara Ganim

(h/t The Daily BeastThe Patriot-News)

***Follow the Onward State live-blog for continuous coverage of the Sandusky trial***

About the Author

Ryan Beckler

Ryan is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He is a Lion Ambassador who loves giving tours to prospective students. His favorite activities include distributing news and consuming Chipotle.


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