Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ayres Trial, Week Five, Day Two: Court is in Recess Today

Court is in recess today, Tuesday, June 30 because the final out of statute victim named Peter is unable to testify until Wednesday. Testimony will resume tomorrow.
In the interim, we would welcome any questions from readers of this blog about the trial, or Ayres' career, or any other pertinent matter. We will try to answer them as best we can.


  1. We heard a rumor going around that the San Mateo DA's office thinks that Caligirl from the Sprocket Blog is phoning in reports to one of your correspondents?

    Is that true? Is that why they suddenly posted a big sign outside the courtroom that said "No electronics?"

  2. To anonymous at 7:26 am:

    We heard that rumor too about Caligirl phoning in reports from the courtroom !

    We laughed so hard when we heard this that we almost split a gut. We love that the DA's office thinks our four humble correspondents are so technologically sophisticated that we can operate like spies.

    No, the answer is that our four correspondents are just extremely skilled in information gathering the old fashioned way.

    We must say we are very flattered that the DA's office is reading our blog, and Sprocket too. Makes sense, because there's so little coming from the mainstream media.

  3. CaliGirl9 is doing a great job reporting over on the Trials and Tribulations Blog and sometimes people from that blog also post COMMENTS over here using their blogger names.

    To the best of my knowledge, CaliGirl9 normally is credited whenever her material is used.

    I believe that most of the input comes from concerned citizens, parents, victims and such who are there, and is generally then compiled by our bloggers, if they are not directly in attendance themselves.

    I am also fairly certain that there has been no live blogging from within the courtroom. I actually tried this early on, but could not get a clean enough cell signal to even view the blog, so never did successfully post live.

    Perhaps they should post a sign outside reading: "No writing implements, No Paper, No electronics, no Humans with More than 7 Brain Cells (Jury excepted) Allowed Inside.

    Anyway... what the hell does the DA care? I heard another rumor that they've been told not to read the blog, so how would they know about who's posting here? They're not cheating, and peeking at the blog are they?

    Maybe they should stop worrying about who's posting, and try to understand WHY we're posting.

    Maybe the court transcription union is pissed off.

  4. Anonymous just posted this in the "Weekend Wrap" posting:

    Cameras were barred to protect the identity of the victims. Hardly an error. Protecting their privacy is paramount to what people believe is an appropriate amount of press coverage. As it is, irresponsible members of the press have printed enough information about the victims, including some of their unique first names and types of employment. THE ONLY people that need to be informed of the facts of this case are the jury.

    As best I can remember, cameras have always been barred, but there appears to be some concern that people are blogging from the courtroom, which is not the case.

    I definitely agree that protecting the names of the victims is paramount, and both the defense and prosecution have botched protecting the names along the way, much to our dissatisfaction. I would also agree that the "unique name" thing is a problem, and wonder why they didn't just use names like John, or any other simple naming scheme that truly obscures their names.

    Having said all of that, I'd have to add that in my experience, the mainstream press has actually done a very good job of NOT publishing the full names, even though the have had access to them. And as far as photography goes, I have been standing right next to the beast (not on purpose) with the press taking pictures, and they managed to crop the picture so that I was not seen in it. I was pretty happy when I saw the care that they took.

  5. Well, if the DA is so nit picky about information getting from here to there they could have issued a gag order.

    Gag law is intended to limit freedom of the press, as by instituting censorship or restricting access to information.

    It is afterall a public trial.

    But this did not happen, from heresay which I have heard the old court house doesn't even attempt to sequester witnesses as they sit on benches outside the court room.

    Losely monitored at best if Ayres can spout off little double tongued insults at parents!

    Maybe someone should kick his walker out from under him. What will the bailiff do watch him lay there on the ground?

    Sounds like things are pretty loose at the old courthouse.

  6. I don't even own a cell phone, and I have no idea how to even text message anyone!

    Besides, I'm too busy writing stuff down and irritating my carpal tunnel syndrome to create my illegible notes that take me hours to decipher!

    I am pretty reluctant to even use the victims' names, though I have at times, especially when I feel their testimony was very moving or very significant.

    I hope each witness understands I have nothing but the utmost respect for them. But I also hope what comes out of this trial is that parents stop utterly trusting "expert's recommendations" where their kids' mental health is concerned. (I too am a parent of a learning disabled child, and but for the grace of God go I ... she got help with her diagnosis and by attending a special school for dyslexic children long before she had any real mental frustration because of her learning differences.)

  7. Than you to CaliGirl for taking the bullet train to report on this case.

    You are doing a great job.

    Cellphones barely work at the old court house, maybe out in the halls.

    Never have worked in the jury room!

  8. If I were the DA's office, I would be way more concerned that three of their in statute victims were all sitting two feet away from each other in the hall as they waited to testify, or the fact that the jury mingles freely with the spectators in the hall.

    The DA's office has some very weirdly misplaced energy. I heard too that the prosecutor was not allowed to read the blogs. But I heard that the prosecutor corrected Caligirl that she was identifying her incorrectly as an ADA, not a DDA.

    You just know that everyone in the DA's office is reading these blogs. They should. They could learn something.

    The endless stream of "worries" coming out of the DA's office about blogs and otherwise is in itself very worrisome. Focus on nailing the guy and stop worrying about citizens who are conveying information to a public that needs to know about this case.

  9. DS, I agree about the “simple naming” thing. I was so reluctant to use the first witness’ name, as it is unquestionably a very unique name.

    There have been plenty of slip-ups with the surnames, though the attorneys have been pretty good about not slipping up. I’ve missed one day, and I can’t recall McKowan slipping up though Weinberg did during opening arguments. The slips tend to be by the witnesses themselves.

    I don’t write them down. I sort of wish the parents’ identities had been obscured somewhat too. But I commend local media types for being respectful and careful.

    PA, there are jurors from other cases, but I have no idea if they have a “holding room” like the empty court room next to Judge Freeman’s court room. In Santa Clara County, the jurors report to one room away from the court room and they don’t mingle—for breaks they go into a separate “jury lounge” attached to the court room.

    I know the San Mateo County courthouse is a relic …

  10. Caligirl: McKowan slipped up and mentioned the name of a victim during a hearing in August 2007 where many reporters were in attendance. This was the victim who dropped out of the trial this month at the last minute.

    Additionally,during motions in June, McKowan slipped up and mentioned the full names of three other victims.

  11. Steve Wagstaffe reads the blogs this is no secret. I know for a fact that sheriff and some deputies read it, and one DDA told me he personally read my blogs about his case. Bolgs should be read by everybody interested, thats why they are blogs. Now as far as protecting names I say the blogs and press are doing a better job than the District Attorneys Office of San Mateo County. Melissa Mckowan took me aside one morning and told me her witness was terrified that I would publish his name. I told her to let him know that I would not, I had no interest in doing so. A few minutes later in court Judge Freeman brought to Melissa's attention that she had included every single victims full names in the documents that she had filed with the court that morning which made them part of the public record.

    Welcome to San Mateo County

    Michael G. Stogner

  12. Stogner: You nailed it. The DA's office is terrified of people perpetrating the very things that they are guilty of themselves!!

    What's up with the three in statute victims sitting together in the hall on the day of their testimony? Didn't the DA think to segregate them? Wouldn't Weinberg be concerned that they cooked up their stories together in the hall?

  13. Deep Sounding:

    Would those toy car kits have something to do with the cars that Ayres' victims built during therapy?

  14. Those cars are certain models (not Honda Civics in Urban Titanium Metallic) from Talbot's toyland to give to the boys as presents.

    I am just guessing!

    I looked close at one box and the lic. plate read: 5JKV

    Oh DS, better stop me, I love the numbers!

  15. Wow, anonymous at June 30, 7:28 pm; you hit the nail right on the head! Ayres was Talbot's best customer. He racked up thousands and thousands of dollars buying presents for little boys. Wasn't Solveig suspicious?

    Did she know he used to buy two or three record albums a week for one particular 13 year old patient? Don't you think that would raise her hackles? What kind of dreamland was she operating in?

  16. The word is that last week when one of the in statute victims was waiting to testify that Ayres walked up to him and said "You should be a basketball player." Word is that someone complained to the judge about this.

    The victim is very tall but it sounds like a come on line to us.

  17. The models weren't gifts.

    They were to be built in the office only.

    The more co-operative you are, the better the model you get to build.

    Feel free to vomit now, if you wish.

  18. What did little girls get to do when they were in "therapy?" Play with Barbies, and the good doc played Barbies with them?

  19. There were no "girl friendly" looking models or puzzles anywhere near the model building table/"examination" table.

  20. We never hear about any girls who were patients of Ayres. He probably told them they were "cured" after the first session so he could get rid of them to make way for a new boy patient.

  21. Did Dr. William Ayres ever treat girls? Did he see girls from the Kemp Girls Camp?

    Michael G. Stogner

  22. That would certainly be an interesting question to ask the beast if he should take the stand.

    Did he provide the same standard of care which was a genital exam to a little girl?

    If not, why not?

    I bet the jury would be waiting for that answer.