Barbie's 'brain was tired'

2009-03-27 22:02

Pretoria - Cezanne Visser must have known some of the things she did were crimes, but her "brain was tired", a psychologist testified on Friday.

Professor Jonathan Scholtz, head of clinical psychology at the Weskoppies Hospital, concluded his evidence in defence of Visser.

Also known as Advocate Barbie, Visser has denied guilt on 14 charges ranging from rape and soliciting minors to commit indecent acts to manufacturing child pornography.

Scholtz said Visser had been subjected to severe sexual abuse and coercive control by her former lover Dirk Prinsloo.

He diagnosed Visser as suffering from battered woman syndrome and depression and said she needed corrective psychotherapy.

Like other battered women, Visser had suffered abuse as a child at the hands of her father. She had low self-esteem, was naive when she met Prinsloo and had been vulnerable after failing her bar exam and breaking up with a boyfriend.

Scholtz said Visser's evidence that she would have committed murder for Prinsloo illustrated to what extent she had been under his control.

It also explained why she at first did nothing after Prinsloo sexually molested her own mother.

Visser had "assimilated" Prinsloo's thoughts and ideas and although she must have had a faint realisation that things were not right.

Scholtz said Prinsloo was not only a sexual sadist and paedophile, but also suffered from other sexual deviations.

Sexual sadists often had numerous disorders, usually collected pornography and had serious personality disorders such as narcissism and psychopathic characteristics.

Both traits were both present in the case of Prinsloo, the psychologist said.

The trial was postponed to June 15 to allow the prosecution to consult with experts before cross-examining Scholtz.