Some of you who are relatively new to this blog may not know that this current criminal investigation into Dr. Ayres came about because of the death of a victim named Alan Y.
We've written a bit about him before, but at this juncture we believe the time has come to re-tell his story.
Back in July 2005, Alan Y, a 49- year-old window installer and a single dad raising two teenagers, came across an article in the San Mateo County Times about a man who had settled a civil suit with Dr. Ayres. Recalling that moment later to journalist Victoria Balfour, Alan remembered that he just about passed out. Memories of being molested by Ayres- which he had never forgotten but had tried to stomp out -all of a sudden hit him he said,"like a ton of bricks."
Alan told Balfour that when he was 14, during a court ordered session with Ayres, the doctor had made him lie down on a table, pulled down his pants and and then had molested him . Alan remembered the shame and mortification he felt afterward. He wondered if he had done something to make Ayres molest him. At his next court appearance, he told the judge that he would never ever go back to Ayres. But he was too embarrassed to say why. Alan remembered that the judge screamed at him for refusing to return to therapy with Ayres. Then he gave Alan a choice: either continue to see Ayres or he would be shipped off to Camp Glenwood. Alan chose the juvenile camp. Can anyone blame Alan?
Over the years, Alan never forgot what Ayres had done to him, but he never told another soul about it, not even his mother Frances, with whom he was close.
But when he saw the article about Ayres in 2005, he became angry. Alan jumped into his car and drove immediately to the San Mateo Police Station. It was a Saturday, and there was only a skeleton crew on duty at the station, but Alan insisted on giving a statement to a male officer right then and there about how Dr. Ayres had molested him. In spite of his discomfort about having to talk about the abuse in front of a young female recruit in training who sat in on the interview , Alan managed to choke his story out.
As it turned out, Alan's case was not within statute for a criminal prosecution, so he contacted a civil lawyer. But after a few weeks of discussions, to Alan's disappointment, the lawyer informed Alan that his case was too old for a civil suit.
It was at this point - in October 2005- that Alan fell into a terrible despair. In an email to Balfour he wrote that he was too depressed to pursue justice in the Ayres case."No one is going to help me - not the police or the courts or anyone else" he said.
Three weeks later, Alan died in a motorcycle crash.
This was the second death of an Ayres victim that journalist Balfour knew of. A victim named Doug had died in a car crash in 1994 at the age of 35. At the age of 11, Doug had told his parents that Ayres had touched him and that he" didn't like it." His mother believed that the molestation was one of several factors that contributed to Doug's often rocky life.
Balfour wondered if Alan Y's death had possibly been suicide.She had learned from child abuse experts that many male victims of sex abuse get reckless and play fast and loose with their lives, and have a much higher rate of dying in crashes than those who have not been abused. Balfour thought about yet another out of statute victim named Mark who had told her that he had tried to kill himself while driving drunk on a motorcycle. She wondered how many more Ayres victims out there had had similar impulses. She knew then that she had to do something for Alan and all of the other victims out there.
Balfour then contacted the San Mateo Police Department, and informed them of Alan's death. Because none of the victims who had come forward within statute at that point, the police were not actively looking for new victims. Balfour said that she didn't want to see any more deaths of Ayres victims. She told them that Alan had left behind two children. She pleaded with the police to figure out a way to find victims within statute.
The police department agreed that the time had come to figure out a way to find victims within statute, and after consulting with the San Mateo District Attorney's office, they wrote a search warrant and seized Ayres' patient files. And it wasn't long after that the police did find victims within statute and Ayres was arrested. And we know what happened after that.
We just spoke to his mother Frances Y today. She is 82, still holding down a fulltime job as an office manager and raising Alan's son and daughter. She says that both have rebounded from depression after their Dad's death and his son is attending community college. They still miss their father all the time.
Frances did not attend the trial because the memories of Alan are just still too painful. However, Frances told us that she wanted to thank all of the victims who testified in the trial, as well as their parents. She wants to thank the jurors who believed in the victims. She said she is grateful for all of the work that so many people have put into the case. She believes that if there is a retrial that justice will prevail.
We think Alan would be astounded at how far this case has progressed in the four years since his death. Those of us here wish to thank Alan as well, for his pivotal role in this case.
We believe that there are many other Ayres victims out there who have died an untimely death, and we wish to honor them here.
Update 3:05 pm: Frances tells me that Alan's daughter Rachel is about to give birth to her first grandchild - a girl. Rachel is in labor as of this writing. Best wishes to all !