(Note: explicit sexual content)
BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Jerry Sandusky's wife of 45 years testified on Tuesday that she had not seen any inappropriate behavior between children and her husband, a former Penn State assistant football coach who stands accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.
The jury also heard from a psychologist called by the defense who said Sandusky suffers from a personality disorder that is characterized by a deep need for attention and inappropriate, provocative behavior.
Dottie Sandusky denied testimony by several victims that they had stayed overnight numerous times at their home in State College, Pennsylvania, saying that children would sleep overnight as guests perhaps only once or twice a month.
During his wife's testimony, Sandusky, who was dressed in a dark suit, sat as he has through most of the trial - hunched over the defense table, staring at the witness, sometimes resting his chin on his hand.
The former defensive coordinator for Penn State's successful football program faces 51 counts of child molestation that carry a sentence of more than 500 years in prison.
The case has focused renewed national attention on the issue of child sexual abuse and prompted the firing in November of Penn State President Graham Spanier and legendary head football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno died of lung cancer in January.
Dottie Sandusky, who said she was known as "Sarge" for her firm hand in running a large home, also denied testimony by Victim 4 - as he is identified in court papers - of an alleged sexual encounter with Sandusky while on a trip to the 1999 Alamo Bowl in Texas. The accuser said Sandusky had tried to force him to perform oral sex on him in the hotel bathroom when his wife walked into the room, breaking up the encounter.
But Dottie Sandusky said she had entered the hotel room and her husband and Victim 4 were arguing because the boy had refused to attend a banquet even though Sandusky had paid $50 for a ticket.
"'We did this for you, and you've got to do this for us,'" she recalled her husband saying.
Eight alleged victims, now men aged 18 to 28, testified for the prosecution last week, describing in often graphic detail being molested by Sandusky as boys, including oral and anal sex and shared showers. Two other alleged victims have never been identified.
Elliot Atkins, a psychologist testifying for the defense, told jurors on Tuesday he spent six hours interviewing the 68-year-old Sandusky.
"Based on my evaluation of Mr. Sandusky, I have diagnosed a histrionic personality disorder," Atkins said.
Dr. John O'Brien, a Philadelphia psychiatrist for the prosecution, rejected Atkins' analysis, saying one of the two tests did not show that Sandusky had histrionic personality disorder. A second showed a mild case, but O'Brien said those results needed to be viewed with caution since Sandusky had answered the tests with a view to portraying himself in a positive light.
Atkins told jurors the disorder was characterized by excessive emotionality and attention seeking, and symptoms included inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior.
The psychologist testified that letters Sandusky wrote to one of his accusers - which prosecutors described as love letters - were consistent with his analysis. Sandusky's memoir, "Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story," which was published in 2001, "absolutely confirmed my diagnosis," Atkins said.
O'Brien, the psychiatrist for the prosecution, offered a sharply different view. Sandusky does not have a histrionic personality since the disorder is "24/7" and causes trouble for those that have it, such as not being able to maintain relationships and always seeking to stand out, he said.
Sandusky is "extremely high functioning," earning a master's degree, working at a demanding and subordinate job as assistant coach for decades, founding and running a charity, and being a husband and father to a family of six adopted children, said O'Brien.
"That is inconsistent with what you would see with someone with histrionic personality disorder," he said.
DEFENSE SAYS: STAYED TUNED
It was unclear whether Sandusky would testify as the trial entered its final stages. Asked as he arrived at court whether he would call his client to the witness stand, defense attorney Joe Amendola told reporters: "Stay tuned. Come on, it's like a soap (opera); you have to wait and see."
"Is it 'Days of Our Lives?'" a reporter asked in return, referring to a long-running U.S. daytime television drama.
"I think it's 'General Hospital,'" Amendola answered. Then, a moment later, after returning from parking his car, he said, "Actually it could be 'All My Children.'"
Amendola said previously that Sandusky would testify.
Judge John Cleland told jurors on Monday he expected closing arguments to take place on Thursday.
(Editing by Paul Thomasch, and Lisa Shumaker)