The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 22, 2013

Court peers into Pollard's mind, traumatic past


Pornography would give Pollard an opportunity to "detach," Rypma said.

"He was experiencing sex without the anxiety that would be created by him actually needing to approach a potential partner," he said.

Pollard told Rypma he went to Cinema X on March 11, 2012 to "get away."

But when he sat down in the theater, McDaniel sat beside him and placed his hand on Pollard's thigh, Pollard told Rypma. That's when Pollard panicked, ran, found the locked front door, turned around and McDaniel was standing right there, he said.

The ensuing confrontation is when Pollard's memory became spotty, Rypma said, which is "extremely common to block out" these types of memories in individuals with Pollard's mental disorders.

But in reality, Pollard's memory wasn't at all fragmented, said prosecutor Scott Brown.

"What Bruce Pollard gives us is a pretty complete version of what he says happens at the theater," Brown said.

Pollard told police he stole the merchandise to make the incident look like a robbery.

"Bruce's self-image, particularly in regards to his sexuality, was so fragile that in his mind ... he thought that he would have rather committed a burglary than ... be seen as having been sexually accosted my Mr. McDaniel," Rypma said.

Pollard also has a history of self-mutilation, or "cutting," as well as suicide attempts.

But he had also been misdiagnosed for years as being bipolar, Rypma said, when in fact he more likely has borderline personality disorder.

"The self-mutilation and suicide attempts caught my eye because those are significant markers for ... borderline personality disorder," Rypma said.

This disorder is marked by an extremely poor self-image, "impulsivity," rapid mood changes and alternating between feelings of closeness to another person while hours later feeling distant, angry and rejected by that same individual.

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