- Gil Kliman, MD, quoting one of many "experts" during his "expert" testimony for the defense on Tuesday, July 7, 2007.
9:00 am: After following the Phil Spector murder retrial, we knew it was only a matter of time before Weinberg requested a mistrial in the Ayres case. After all, when things got hot for Weinberg in the Spector case, he must have asked for a mistrial every other day.
There were a couple of motions decided before the jury was ushered in at 9:40 am. Weinberg's first motion was to ask the judge to dismiss the testimony of Robert W and Scott E.
Judge Freeman wasted no time in shooting him down. "Based on the court readings, I am satisfied there is substantantial evidence... " the judge began. With that, Weinberg shook his head, puffed out his cheeks like a blowfish and blew out.
But he wasn't about to give up. Once more, he asked for "severance" of the six victims. We heard this all before in motions back in the first week in June, but once again, in a petulant voice, Weinberg complained that it wasn't fair to have the six separate complaints of the victims bolstered by the other victims. He then complained that the jury was going to find the instructions - especially concerning the testimony of the out of statute victims - confusing. When the judge wouldn't grant his request, Weinberg, in his best hangdoggish "I'm feeling sorry for myself" voice said, " I should just rest my case now."
At this point, the choking girl from yesterday - a supporter of Ayres, once more got into a choking fit.
Deep Sounding has already discussed the fact that the Judge's ruling today that will allow the prosecution to talk about The Coming of Age and the other nude boy photos should the defense calls Dr. Marvin Firestone to testify about how Ayres does not fit the profile of a pedophile. The prosecutor - in a brown pant suit and a lively shirt with a tropical jungle motif- wisely had brought a copy of a page from the DSM-IV that defined a pedophile. From this page she read aloud a phrase about people who possess photographs of individuals in the target range of their victims. McKowan assured the judge that she would not characterize the books in any way, but instead would ask Dr. Firestone if he would change his opinion about Ayres not being a pedophile if it were known that he had in his possession those creepy books of boys in sexual poses in locker rooms. The judge - smart woman - agreed that the prosecution would have the right to bring the books into the cross examination. That's when Weinberg suddenly changed his tune and now wasn't so sure he was going to call Dr. Firestone after all. Checkmate!
Next up: Dr. Gil Kliman, a shrink hired by the defense to testify that Ayres' groping, fondling and masturbating of boys to ejaculation was all within the standard of care of child psychiatrists. His testimony took all day ! We swear that he took up at least half an hour to talk to the jury in a meandering way about his resume. What we remember is that he seemed to move around a lot,from the East Coast to the West Coast to the East Coast and then back to California in 1985. We also noticed a distinct bias in favor of East Coast psychiatrists "Those fancy East Coast doctors," he said at one point, as if to imply they were much smarter than those California docs.
Dr. Kliman had an unnatural singsongy way of speaking that reminded us a bit of Mr. Rogers. It gave us the creepy crawlies, but of course we were inclined not to like him anyway because of his working for the defense. You can look up his resume here:
What sticks out in our mind from his testimony on his CV was the fact that he was a "Distinguished Life Fellow " of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as opposed to a plain old "Life Fellow" of the AACAP.
Also,this leaped out : Kliman worked with child psychiatrist Dr. David Shaffer at Columbia University. Courtroom spectators probably were not aware that Dr. Shaffer is the ex-husband of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour ( the scary editor who was the basis for the Meryl Streep character in "The Devil Wears Prada.") We can tell you that Ms. Wintour left Dr. Shaffer for a much hunkier guy from Texas ! We couldn't help wondering as we sat in the courtroom whether Dr. Shaffer ever went out for a beer with Dr. Kliman to talk about his marital troubles. Somehow after listening to the condescending and humorless Kliman, we doubt it.
Like Dr. Loftus from the previous day, Kliman told the jury that he had only testified once for the prosecution in criminal cases. We were very heartened to see that the heavy-set male juror who sits in the front row reached for his notebook on the floor after he heard Kliman say this and then proceeded to not just write down this fact but underline it. Smart juror!
We were frankly astonished when Weinberg actually questioned Kliman about the difference between psychoanlysts and psychiatrists and "transference." Kliman noted that Dr. Lynn Ponton who testified for the prosecution, was actually a psychoanalyst and that these types of therapists never touch the kids because they're worried about "transference" and tainting the therapeutic process. But what wasn't addressed the fact was that kids don't lie down on the couch during therapy when treated by shrinks who are psychonalysts. We couldn't believe Weinberg was taking us down this silly path. And apparently, neither did the heavy-set male juror. As Kliman blathered on about "projection" and "transference" he sat there frowning, his arms folded over his burly chest.
Kliman had about seven big medical textbooks from which he quoted selectively about the importance of child psychiatrists giving medical exams. At some point, pediatrician Dr. Sam Leavitt and passive wife Thea showed up to support the doctor. We noticed Dr. Sam picking at his scab on his hand again and examining the hair on his arms, and Thea closing her eyes during some graphic testimony. By the end of the day's testimony, they had moved from their seats a few rows behind Solveig and the increasingly worn out looking Robert to the very back row of the room in the corner. Give em two more days, and we don't think they'll be back..
When he was being questioned by Weinberg, Kliman answered with a yes or a no or something along the lines of "It is decidedly so" ( which made us think of those old Magic 8 Balls we had as a kid.)
But after lunch, when the prosecutor started in on Kliman, she just could not for the life of her squeeze a single direct answer out of him. He bobbed, weaved, filibustered, stalled for time. We would think that a guy with his education would at least have made the attempt to pretend that he was cooperating with the prosecution, but this guy did everything he could to run away from the prosecutor's questions. In fact, he built a little fort with his seven big medical textbooks-- they looked like building blocks -- on the witness stand and peered out from behind them.
We recall that Kliman said a number of times that the medical textbooks "glowingly recommend that child psychiatrists do physicals." Every time he said this, the parents of victims rolled their eyes and groaned. At one point, we even saw Weinberg make a face.
It was obvious to everyone that the prosecutor was getting under Klimana's skin and on two occasions he turned to the judge as if she were his mom and asked her to intervene. He acted as if that prosecutor was being such a mean lady!
When the prosecutor noted that one of the medical textbooks he'd quoted from advised that a child psychiatrist should not duplicate an exam just done by a pediatrician, Kliman said "Well if the child is a hermaphrodite, the exam should be repeated." We kid you not... From then on his testimony just got more and more surreal. We noted that his voice got testy and even hostile. He tried to throw out a fortress of big words and he tossed out a number of medical terms and cases that had nothing to do with the case at hand. He pointed out to the prosecutor (while he looked at the jury ) that she had difficulty in reading the textbooks. He told her that he had noticed that she had misrepresented the testimony before.. Oh, he was condescending.
And on at least three occasions, he clenched his left fist hard when the prosecutor asked him a question.
For the parents of victims in the courtroom, the most aggravating moment came when he refused to answer the prosecutor's questison about whether the parents of the victims had been notified of Ayres giving their sons a genital exam. Everyone in the courtroom - even Weinberg- knew the answer to that, but still Kliman wriggled away from answering the question, twisting and turning for so long that many of the jurors started to laugh. We saw three women jurors exchange looks and roll their eyes. The heavy set man in the front row - who is our favorite juror of the day - laughed outright. When Kliman finally deigned to answer, he was insulting: he said the parents probably just did not remember that Ayres had told them he had performed a genital exam ! The groans and laughs and eye rolls from victims and parents of victims in the courtroom were a sight to behold..
We have heard that the good doctor himself will testify tomorrow, Wednesday, July 8. Can he top Kliman for sheer comic relief? Will the prosecutor be able to disguise her contempt for the man who has ruined so many lives ?