Monday, July 20, 2009

The Dismissed Juror's Story

[DS Comment: Original post date for this was July 17th, 2009, and moved up for visibility.]

The tall thin dismissed juror talked to us for an hour after she was dismissed. She said that the younger women on the jury (one is the nail picker) held the victims' feet to the fire when it came to peripheral details of the victims' recall memory, thereby discounting their credibility in its entirety. One of the younger women just out of law school said, " I believe they believe they are telling the truth, but I don't believe they are." When the tall thin juror asked for readback of the deposition to point out how Ayres' story had changed from 2004 until now,there was a bit of a resistance. She had to keep asking for it. One of the young women jurors tended to be too myopic about details, she said, and if things couldn't be resolved she'd go off on a tangent.
This woman juror was dismissed because she had a memory that came back to her in the jury box during testimony- something she did not recall during voir dire. She told the jurors that if she could have a memory come back to her, so could the victims. Someone complained anonymously (it might have been the nail picker juror) after deliberations yesterday either to the judge This morning, the burly foreman was called in - twice. Then the tall thin woman was called in. For some reason the judge let her go so as to not jeopardize the trial in any way. She was being cautious so as not to give any justification for a mistrial. But when Weinberg tried to have a mistrial called because of this woman's memory resurfacing and telling the jurors, the judge would not permit it.
The new juror picked was a young male, who has a sweet face with dark hair and facial hair and is married. He was attentive but did not take notes but to us does not look like a strong juror. But you never know- he could surprise us.

A bit of good news: the dismissed juror says that every juror but one believes that one of the victims was molested. We are not going to say who that victim is. We don't want to get anyone's hopes up but it's possible that with the new male juror and his fresh energy, they could possibly convict on this particular victim.

The other piece of good news is that the jury hadn't finished looking at all the victims' cases when she was dismissed. They still had two more victims to look at . Now of course with the new juror they have to start all over again.
Two other people on the jury so far are for conviction of all counts for the four victims whose cases they had reviewed by the end of the day on Thursday. In addition, one other person believes Ayres is guilty but is waffling on evidence. Several others say they could go either way.
We heard that the nailpicker girl commented that it was "creepy" that the parents of the victims were waiting in the hall. The tall thin dismissed juror shot back "If my son had been molested, I would be camped out in the hall."
Interestingly enough, the juror who was dismissed was an alternate on the Joe Hunt Billionaire Boy's Club trial ( in which he represented himself in San Mateo and was found not guilty. Hunt is serving time for the murder of a man in LA however.
The jurors are now being sequestered during the day and have to start all over again with a new juror.
For reporters who are contacting us to get the scoop: all we can say is: you should have been at the courthouse yourself. The juror would have talked to you. She doesn't want to talk now.
We are very disappointed in the Bay Area media for not being there.
It is possible that with the new male juror that the dynamics could change. Perhaps he might come out strong for conviction on at least one count. And it should be noted that he is the only male on the jury (there are now 4) who is right around the age of most of the in statute victims. It's hard to tell what impact this will have on his decision making. However, during a break in closing arguments , we did spot him having a joke and a male bonding moment with the other three men in the hall.
Let's not give up hope in entirety. This juror we spoke to thinks there's about an "80 per cent chance" of a hung jury but you never know.
We can live with a hung jury.
It will be very interesting to see what the naysayers say when they realize there are 42 victims and the $400,000 lawsuit with one of the victims and the nude boy books in Ayres' collection.
[DS - Editorial: I think the DSM-IV definition of pedophilia might also have been enlightening for the jury.]


  1. Lovely. The fingernail picker whose employer sent a letter to the judge asking to release her.
    Why am I not surprised? She was too busy admiring her manicure and chewing on hangnails.

  2. Thanks Trapellar!

    Also, thank you to the juror who told you her story.

    You got the scoup by being there. I agree if the main press wanted the exclusive interview, hey show up!

    As for parents in the hallways etc. This shows how much these young jurors know about "public trials" and victim support systems!

    You gotta walk in the shoes of another to feel their pain, maybe these jurors are not at that place in their life.

    Let's keep the faith that the elders can bring some sense to this.

    Jurys are always a gamble.

  3. Re: age of jurors, lack of life experience, etc..... was it not McKowan's job to take into account the demographics of the jury? I don't mean to be pointing fingers, but this case was simply not that "tricky."

  4. Anonymous 2:30 pm I totally agree. Someone from the DA's office messed up when they allowed those very young woman jurors on the trial.

    They should have hired a jury expert beforehand.

  5. I don't mean to be a turd in the punch bowl....but maybe those jurors were Doron Weinberg's pick. If he was happy and the DA ran out of challenges he got his "half" of the jury. Could that be a possibility?

  6. I thought the same thing, PA. Doesn't each side get a finite number of "dismisseds" during jury selection? Were they getting to the bottom of the barrel?

    I could imagine the prosecution being cool with a pair of nurses, but never the defense. (It was stated on this blog that two were nurses, I hope they are actual RNs with licenses and not people who happen to work in a physician's back office taking vital signs ... with little to no education.)

    Letting an attorney or a paralegal in is dangerous, though as I recall, wasn't the one Spector juror who spoke after the guilty verdict a paralegal?

  7. Yup... we don't know if the the prosecutor badly needed a jury consultant, or if she did a fantastic job herself, and there was just not a lot to choose from. There's no way to filter out ALL of the felgercarb.

    There's plenty of anger to go around, and nowhere for it to go, other than a scant few lightning rods.

    ayres did this to all of us.

  8. Juror #1 You did a great job. You are human and you happened to have a recall memory during this trial where recall memories are in question.
    Right On!

    Interestingly enough, the juror who was dismissed was an alternate on the Joe Hunt Billionaire Boy's Club trial ( in which he represented himself in San Mateo and was found not guilty. Hunt is serving time for the murder of a man in LA however)
    Boy talk about a small world the above trial(BBC) cost San Mateo County Millions of $'s because it was brought here by the State. Also a little known fact is the other two defendants Reza Eslaminia, and Arben Dosti spent about 10 years in prison before their convictions were reversed and voided/erased from the legal records. Why you might ask, or how in the Hell does that happen? The prosecutor in that case thought it would be helpful for his case if the jury heard an audio tape that was not evidence in the case. So he just had them listen to it anyway.

    Welcome to San Mateo County

    Michael G. Stogner

  9. Thanks Juror#1, you did your best and that's all we can ask. Kudos to you for your service.

    I try to calm myself by realizing Ayres life is all but destroyed, however that doesn't offer much solace to his victims.

    Again, thanks to everyone on this blog for your cogent and timely updates.

  10. This thing just drags on and on and on...

  11. I've been told by many professional trial watchers, reporters and attorneys who watch or participate in trials for a living, that a case is won or lost in jury selection.

    If this jury deadlocks I'm wondering if the DA will prosecute again.

  12. A shrink told me that it appears that the three young twerpy women on the jury were having a mommy and daddy transference with the prosecutor and Weinberg. He thought they probably have mother issues and saw Weinberg as the big daddy and Ayres as Grandpa.

    He said that next time they need to pick jurors over 40 with life experience.

  13. If there's a hung jury, the DA should haul in experts to talk more about PTSD of victims. This trial was about the propriety of medical exams. Everyone in this country knows there isn't a single shrink who touches kids' genitals. I would also like to have them get someone from Judge Baker in Boston to talk about how they never trained shrinks to give physicals.

    The prosecutor talked about how Ayres was trained to give physicals at Yale. Why didn't they challenge that? Ayres had one year of pediatrics and two years of ADULT PSYCHIATRY? How could he have been trained to give physicals during child psychiatry when he never studied child psychiatry at Yale?

  14. I saw this comment over at the Daily Journal forum and I agree with it:

    The victim that the three young twerpy women jurors did believe
    gave the most three dimensional and human testimony.

    It appears to us who sat in the courtroom that this became a technical case about the medical exam issue and the humanity and the sufferings of the victims got lost in the shuffle. It became a battle about experts. By the end of the trial, the victims seemed to be forgotten.

    I don't know whose decision it was not to bring in more psychological experts about the impact of abuse - particularly PTSD - on victims, but it seems wrong.

    The victims needed more experts and advocates to testify for THEM.

  15. Here is a hopeful sign:

    In today's San Mateo Daily Journal they report that after the new jury retired to deliberations on Friday they did ask for a read back which was:

    After reorganizing on Friday, the jury continued with little question other than readback about whether Ayres ever examined female patients.

    He testified having not done so because there was no chaperone.

    I think this shows with the new dynamics they see he was not giving the same "care" to females.

    I find this to be hopeful.

  16. Interesting bit of news from the San Mateo Daily Journal today:

    After reorganizing on Friday, the jury continued with little question other than readback about whether Ayres ever examined female patients.

  17. The nail picker juror brought a letter to the judge earlier this week from her employer. She told the judge that her employer wants her back on the job. The judge said that they were ahead of schedule and that she would be back on her job soon enough and declined to let her go.

    Now that the jurors have to start all over again on the nail picker's employer will start putting up even more of a fuss. Maybe she will have to leave.

    After all the jury had to start all over again.

  18. The Guilty Mother
    Thanks to all of you and your mindfulness on behalf of the victims and their parents - it is deeply appreciated.

    My son is a silent victim of Dr. Ayres, and his "physical exam" happended in 1999; however, he refused the DA's invitation to become a witness. Unfortunately, he has a few "issues" and simply did not want a public stigma attached to his life.

    I supported his decision; nonetheless, as a parent, I'm still paying the consequences of my guilt for not reporting Ayres. He used his authority to intimidate a naive single mother to accept his "neurological exam" as protocol in ruling out neurological dysfunction when assessing disabilities.

    Although I am far from naive today, and know his justification was unwarranted, I have little peace of mind - but knowing his life is ruined and he is suffering (like all of his victims) allows me and my son some satisfaction.

    Perhaps our justice system is flawed on the inside, but I have faith in the "public eyes" on the outside where justice will prevail after all is said and done.

    Thanks again for all of your support, and especially to Victoria Balfour and her convictions to the cause.

  19. Jennifer:

    Thank you so much for your moving and poignant words. I know there are many, many parents of victims who are going through what you are going through.

    Perhaps if there is a hung jury, there will be other victims - maybe even your son- who will decide to come forward. Perhaps they would retry the case again. We just don't know.

    I salute all of the ten victims who chose to testify in this trial - and my heart goes out to the seventh in statute victim who had to drop out at the last minute because it was too emotionally hard.

  20. This entire story is so sad: it touches so many aspects of life and the way people should treat other people.

    I am disturbed that so much was omitted from the trial, as I realize that to convict someone you have to have good evidence. Surely the books would have swayed things.

    But I remain most disturbed that being abused by a person in power, especially in the medical profession, is automatically covered up by the doctor's peers. This happens in cases of malpractice as well.

    There has to be a better system and a way of prosecuting people who know and don't report especially if they are colleagues.

    The most disturbing thing of all to me is that there are apparently people of the jury discounting the evidence, in my eyes they too are guilty of complicity in harming the victims.

  21. I don't think Ayres has ever stopped molesting boys. I think he is part of a group of people - some of them involving doctors - who share child porn. One of them could be Menlo Park doctor Roger Levin, who was arrested for child porn and molesting boys in the 1990s as well as his female patients and possession of illegal substances.

    He got off with a slap of a wrist- a "work furlough" and the revocation of his medical license.

    Levin then went on to run the site of a place for prostitutes and johns. It has been reported that he had his own double secret forum on the site, where he bragged about having molested his own sons.

    The San Mateo Sheriff's office is looking for victims of Levin to come forward. Contact Detective Jackie Chong at 650-363-4050 or Detective Bryan Raffaelli at 650-363-4058

    Also see this site for more info on Roger Levin

  22. What the naysayers SHOULD say when they learn additional information is that they based their deleberations on the trial evidence i.e they followed the law.

  23. "I think [Ayres] is part of a group of people - some of them involving doctors - who share child porn."

    That is a completely irresponsible allegation to post--let alone at this critical point in the trial.

  24. More information on Menlo Park predator Roger Levin:

  25. Why hasn't Ayres' daughter Barbara shown up at the trial? Where is she? Is she not on speaking terms with her parents? Something's really odd there.

  26. To Anonymous July 19 8:12 am:

    You said:

    "I think [Ayres] is part of a group of people - some of them involving doctors - who share child porn."

    That is a completely irresponsible allegation to post--let alone at this critical point in the trial.


    Why is it an irresponsible allegation? FBI agents who specialize in pedophilia say that it's very common for those who molest children to engage in child porn and share it with others. If you do your homework you will find that there are even doctors who have been arrested for molesting kids who have also shared child porn with others.

    Anyway, the jury isn't reading this blog, or they've been told not to.

    What has come about Ayres so far is just the very, very tip of the iceberg.

  27. "I think [Ayres] is part of a group of people - some of them involving doctors - who share child porn."

    That is a completely irresponsible allegation to post--let alone at this critical point in the trial.

    To Anonymous who posted the above statement I have this to say:

    I completely disagree that this is an irresponsible allegation!

    First, in my opinion, Ayres had porn. I looked at the McBride photos of nude young boys and I am of the opinion that it was porn. It was clear Doron Weinberg was going to do everything is his power to suppress the material.

    Secondly, it would not be irresponsible to make such an allegation. The jury is in deliberations and when Judge Freemen sent them off to deliberate she had again confirmed they are not reading newspapers, blogs, forums, etc. The jury agreed, they have not. Therefore, it has no bearing on the Ayres case to allege he may have shared porn during this critical time.

    Also, you can say all doctors are bad, all doctors share porn, all doctors are terrible.

    When you study the cases of defamation, an individual must have been named, and thus prove harm. Issuing a blanket opinion about a "group" such as doctors without individually naming one doesn't amount to whole lot of beans!

    Roger Levin has been arrested. His medical lic. revoked. That is a true statement. Statements of facts are not defamatory.

    Absolute truth is an affirmative defense to free speech.

    In my case, my medical records were falsified, I wrote about it to every board the doctor was affiliated with (using her name), every Chief of Staff, Yelped (but removed as Yelp does that if someone complains).

    I spoke about it publicly (using her name), I wrote to government officials using an individual doctors name!

    I was never sued for defamation! I can prove it, it is the absolute truth.

    I think DS and the other victims have the right to state the facts and I appreciate very much when David Gross said he won't use the word "alleged."

    The phrase "I think" generally means I am of the opinion that... Americans are allowed to have opinion.

    Ok, so now I sound like Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes.......

    My message no need to tip-toe on egg shells, if it is the truth so speak it. If it is your opinion then so say it.

  28. Unless the poster has evidence that Ayres is a part of a pedophile group that shares kiddy porn it is an irresponsible accusation to make--especially while a jury is deliberating.

    And no, you cannot ethically excuse the reckless statement to that effect by couching it as an opinion.

    I am not talking legal here, just moral responsibility.

    And no, Ayres’s irresponsibility is no excuse either.

    We are all responsible for our own behavior.

  29. “Unless the poster has evidence that Ayres is a part of a pedophile group that shares kiddy porn it is an irresponsible accusation to make--especially while a jury is deliberating.”

    A) If the poster did have evidence, you would not accept it, unless it had been vetted by a jury trial, so your statement “Unless the poster has evidence…” is disingenuous.

    B) It is not “irresponsible;” any investigator worth his or her weight will tell you that that’s EXACTLY how pedophiles operate in most circumstances, so the odds are actually very good. And most shrinks would tell you the same thing, based on the criteria for pedophilia.

    C) “While the jury is deliberating…” Why the distinction? The jury has been instructed, and has confirmed that they’re not viewing any media on the case. You’re just mentioning it to try to stir up some moral controversy that does not exist.

    “I am not talking legal here, just moral responsibility.”

    We have a moral responsibility to make sure that people are safe from sick sadistic people like ayres. They need to know that the danger is out there and will not go away, even if ayres does.

    No one seems to want to discuss this stuff, but they need to be clear about how these predators operate, and this IS how they operate.

    I wish I had a nice Ivory Tower to sit in, where everything was happy, and I could make lofty commentary on the way things should be. Things aren’t the way they should be. They’re worse than that.