Friday, July 10, 2009

Statement from David Gross, Out of Statute Ayres Victim

Now that the testimony has been completed, we thought this would be a good time to repost a comment we received back in February from David Gross, who was molested by Dr. Ayres in the early 1970s. For those who are just new to this blog, David is the son of pediatrician Dr. Sheldon Gross, who referred hundreds of boys to Ayres, including Steve Abrams, the man who settled the civil suit with Ayres in 2005.
A little background: After the United States Supreme Court knocked down the retroactive statute of limitations laws in criminal molestation cases in California in 2003, effectively ending Steve Abrams' criminal case, he decided to file a civil suit. During the initial police investigation from 2002-2003, the San Mateo Police told the Abrams not to contact Dr. Gross, for fear that Ayres would get wind of the police investigation. But once it had ended, there was nothing to stop Steve's mom Carol from contacting Dr. Gross and telling her that Ayres had molested her son. Not only was Dr. Gross shocked and upset at the news, but he informed Carol that his son David who was five years older than Steve, had also been a patient of Dr. Ayres. Dr. Gross then called his son David, who lives in San Diego and told him what Ayres had done to Steve. It was at this point - for the first time in his life - that David Gross confessed to his father that he too had been molested by Dr. Ayres. David offered to help Steve Abrams with his civil suit in any way he could, and had indeed come up to San Mateo to testify in July 2005 to testify for Steve - along with victim Greg Hogue- when the civil suit was settled.
David is a great guy with a wicked sense of humor. He told Steve and Greg that after Ayres had molested him, he spent the next few therapy sessions practicing his karate moves so Ayres wouldn't touch him again. It worked.
What we find appalling is that Ayres took advantage of Dr. Gross's generosity and his constant stream of referrals by sexually assaulting Gross's own son.

We applaud David for coming forward. We applaud all of the victims who have come forward. We hope that the others who have not come forward ( we know of three ourselves) will do so at one point. Perhaps they will talk to a therapist( there are ones out there who can be trusted) or to a spouse or a pastor. They are welcome to talk about it here, anonymously or otherwise.
Here then is David Gross's Comment:

First off I do not want to be labeled as anonymous. My name is David Gross and I was a victom of Ayers in 1974, and was referred to ayers by my pediatrician who was my father. I am a 50 year old gay male and while homophobia may keep staight men from wanting to talk about homosexual molestation, I have no qualms about discussing or admitting that these things happened.

I know both from having grown up in a medical household and being gay that ayers did what he is being accused of. As for the reasoning by some of his defenders that he was an outstanding shrink and that he did much good, I would like to point out that all of the people being brought forth in major embezzeling crimes for either millions and in 1 case billions of dollars anyone who gets away with crimes for years are all proficient at their jobs and are always well thought of, that is how they are able to get away with their crimes for years.

Boys do not make these claims because of the negative connotations that come with these acts and for years feel that it may be because they have homosexual desires that they are ashamed of. how any intellegent or professional person could think that all of these allegations are fictitious better look at themselves and figure out why they can not accept that this was happening.

I have not and will not try to gain any monetary benifits from this experience. Maybe because I am gay I can see the situation more clearly than most and would happily testify against ayers if asked. Unfortunately this whole situation has probably affected the relationship I have with my father, for while he hasn't supported ayers at all he hasn't publically denounced him and has not actively attacked him in the medical community, being obout the same age as ayers if it was me I would have looked him up and physically kicked his ass up and down the street. I would love the chance to confront him and will try to be at the trial if at all possible with my work schedule.

He is scum and should not be allowed to continue having his freedom and needs to spend whatever time he has left on this earth in prison for the lives that he has ruined. Anybody who had been informed of his actions and ignored the information is in my opinion an accessory to a crime and is lucky that they are not being prosecuted along with him, maybe this would have saved many young boys from having been victoms over the years after the 1st complaint was made. the longer this farse goes on with all the delays just prolongs the pain of the victoms.

If ayers was poor and had even one witness claim they saw him commit a minor crime he would be sitting in jail, yet money and his professional status has kept his freedom when this should make the crimes even more henous. I'll climb off my soapbox for now, but I may climb back on it if I deem it necessay to help get justice served. Thank you all for your time taken to read this.

David Gross

Victomized but not allowing myself to be a victom.
TAGS: Dr. William Hamilton Ayres Solveig Ayres Solveig Troxel pedophile child molester arrested charges president American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry AACAP San Mateo County Children and Families First Commission child psychiatrist psychologist Judge Marta Diaz Peninsula Psychiatric Associates Ronnie Sue Leith Etta Bryant Piero Cerruti Howard Hoffman Joanna Perry Jeffrey Weiner Hugh Ridlehuber Mike Callagy Melissa McKowan Rick Decker


  1. Thanks for those great comments, David.

    I hope your statement encourages other victims to post here - anonymously or otherwise.

  2. As always, I'm amazed by people like David Gross. There's a ton of inner strength and confidence there. I wish I had half of it..

  3. It just shows what a sick individual Ayres was and is.

    To victimize a child of a colleague.

    I thought it was very brave indeed for David to speak out. Thank you David Gross!

    I also have respect for everyone invloved in getting this case reported to the public.

    DS, you do have that inner strength, it takes a lot of courage to write and get the information out there!

    You have created the place for others to express the very thing David Gross wanted to say.

    This blog has been the best place for the "real" story!

  4. Deep Sounding has more strength than he will ever know.

    Ayres is a weakling.

  5. *Standing ovation for David Gross*

    Ayres' made a big mistake underestimating the intelligence of his victims ... he should have stuck with "special needs kids" that fewer people would believe.

  6. Ayres must have mentioned treating kids in wheelchairs three times during his testimony

  7. Deep You've got the strength, You've just been busy doing other things like setting up this VERY IMPORTANT site.

    Thank You

    Michael G. Stogner

  8. Thank you David. Your response is eloquent and your bravery, so rare, especially in criticizing a professional colleague of your father's.

    NO child asks for abuse, let alone invites it into their lives by way of consensual "exams". The fact that Peninsula Psychiatric Associates did nothing to remove Ayres angers me. I assure you, several of the physicians belonging to that organization, were aware of Dr. Ayres proclivities. I only wish I could prove it. Instead, I must rely on old friends, my length of residence in Hillsborough and being party to the "in crowd" dinner conversations. It was a well known fact that there were "irregularities" going on in Ayres office. The fact, that I was not able to do something about this in the 1980's is a regret of mine.

    There will always be professionals engaging in negligent and criminal conduct but it is the burden and the ethical responsibility of their peers to call out these individuals and raise the "red flags".

    You're strength and optimism is uplifting and I find you to be a true hero. Kudos, to you Davis.

  9. It is appalling that there were people who knew there were "irregularities" going on and doing nothing. I realize that none of us wants to go on a campaign against another person, but again, I can only say it's appalling that such things have been ignored by the peers of the good doctor.

  10. << Ayres' made a big mistake underestimating the intelligence of his victims ...he should have stuck with "special needs kids" that fewer people would believe. >>

    I sincerely hope that this comment was not serious. As much as I agree with the first clause, I find the second clause shockingly offensive.

  11. I sincerely hope that this comment was not serious. As much as I agree with the first clause, I find the second clause shockingly offensive.

    I think that it probably was deadly serious, but probaby not in the "shockingly offensive" way that you're thinking.

    ayres actually did take jobs with developmentally disabled children, and although we obviously have no proof of this, it is very likely that it was to gain access to underage male patients. It is a fairly common aspect of pedophiles who act on thier urges to seek children who are less likely to report.

    THAT, I find shocking offensive, but not necessarily moreso than ayres molesting non-developmentally disabled male children.

  12. To Susan: Dr. Ridlehuber was most certainly aware of Dr. Ayres' activities. He always suspected a child he had inherited from Ayres in the 1970s had been molested.

  13. David Gross also wrote a comment about being molested by Dr. Ayres over at back in October 2008

    Here it is:

    As a patient and victom of Ayers (can't really call him a doctor) in 1973,74 and being slated to be a witness against him in the civil suit till it was settled just prior to the trial I am interested in when the first complaint was made to the authorities. I was sent to him by my father who was my pediatrician as was some of the other victoms I was wondering if when a complaint of this type is reported isn't there something in place that local pediatricians would be informed of these allegations. Since most children are recommended to psychiatrists by other M.D.'s is would seem that something like this should be in place. If not why.
    David Gross
    By the way anyone who doubts his guilt needs to wake up and smell the coffee. I hope that I am contacted to testify against him.

    OCTOBER 8, 2008 9:23 PM

  14. Dave Gross also wrote a comment on the San Francisco Chronicle under a story called "Stain Doesn't Wash Off"

    5/10/2008 2:54:59 PM
    I was a patient of Dr. Ayers in 1973/74 In my mind I have no doubt that he committed all of the allegations and many more including acts upon myself. I gave deposition in the civil case and I have no monetary concerns in this case, and i do not feel that any male would volentarily make up stories of homosexual molestations, because of the connotations. I am 50 years old and the experience is long behind me. My father was the pediatrician that referred both myself and Mr. Abrams to Dr. Ayers, so I have quite a bit of background knowledge in this case. My only regret is that I have never been able to confront Ayers personally on his actions. If anyone out there still doubts that Ayers is guilty of these accusations let me put your minds at rest. HE DID IT, ALL OF IT, AND PROBABLY MUCH MORE THAT HASN'T BEEN UNCOVERED. David Gross Victom

  15. DS, you did catch the sarcasm in my words. Thank you.

    No one deserved to be victimized by Ayres. Ayres simply underestimated the resolve of the boys he chose to molest. Sadly, it may have taken a mountain of developmentally-disabled boys/men to make accusations that would have held up in court, and the defense attorney would have had a field day impeaching each, one by one.

    It was pretty tough to impeach the six in-statute and four propensity-to-molest witnesses. I heard the testimony of six of them, and I believe each held up—even the young men who have gone on to have much trouble in their lives.

    David Gross’ case brings up an excellent point. When receiving/asking your primary care doctor for a recommendation for a specialist, one question to ask is “Would you send your son/daughter/spouse/parent to that doctor?” Very frequently you’ll get another doctor’s name; your doctor was making an “owed” referral. For whatever reason, David’s dad seems to have honestly believed he made the right choice for his patients (Steven A) and his own son.

    Too bad David’s dad didn’t ask the right questions or make the right observations. Has he popped through this trial at all? Is he still alive?

  16. Caligirl9:

    Dr. Gross is alive. I talked to him last week and asked him to come to the closing arguments on Monday. He said he might, but probably wouldn't because his wife is immobile. His wife is sick, but not sick enough that he couldn't make an appearance.

    I am sure it's guilt that's keeping him from showing up for the victims. But his unwillingness to be more pro-active has made his son very angry,

    Dr. Gross did say he is following the trial. Who knows, though? He could surprise us today and show up in the courtroom.