Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

-Luke 2: 8-14
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ayres Was Notified By Certified Letter that He is No Longer a Member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Back during the trial, some little birdy must have immediately notified the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry- an association that Ayres was once president of- after Ayres got up and testified that he was still a member of that organization.

Because on July 23, 2009- while the trial was still going on, the Academy terminated Ayres' membership.

"He was notified in writing by certified letter," said Rob Grant, communications director of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. "Our termination policy for members is a carbon copy of the APA's; once your license has been suspended or terminated, your membership is terminated."

Good to know Ayres won't be able to pull this little stunt at the next trial. We can't wait to hear the prosecutor tell the jury that his precious memberships have been terminated!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ayres is No Longer A Member of the American Psychiatric Association

On July 8, 2009, when William H. Ayres took the stand, one of the first things his lawyer Doron Weinberg asked him was this:
"Are you a member of the American Psychiatric Association?"

Ayres replied, "Yes, I am."

Weinberg went on to say "What is the nature of your membership? Do you hold a particular position?

Ayres: "It's something like distinguished and very old, but it doesn't say 'very old. 'Distinguished Senior'"

Weinberg: "Distinguished Life Fellow?"

Ayres (acting coy): " I don't know the exact word."

Weinberg: "Distinguished Life Fellow?"

Ayres: "Pardon me?"

Weinberg: "Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Associates?"

Ayres: "Yes, I'm still alive."


For those of us who were in the courtroom that day, listening to that exchange, all we could think was :"Huh? Would the American Psychiatric Association really permit someone whose medical license had been suspended by the Attorney General of California, to continue to be a member of its esteemed organization?

The application to become a dues paying member of the APA has an Ethics section that asks the following questions:


1) Has your license to practise medicine ever been revoked or suspended?

2)Are you currently charged with illegal or unethical conduct by a regulatory or law enforcement agency or by a professional society?

Well, it turns out that Ayres didn't alert the APA that his license had been suspended by the Attorney General of California after his arrest - as he was supposed to do.

So, this week, after seeing Ayres state in the court transcript that yes, indeed he was still a member of the APA, we decided to check in with the Ethics Committee of the American Psychiatric Association to set the record straight. And boy, did they set the record straight fast!!!

We received an email from Linda Hughes, Director, Office of Ethics and District Branch and State Association Relations of the American Psychiatric Association, who stated in no uncertain terms that as of this week Ayres is NO LONGER a member of the APA.

Here is what Ms. Hughes then went on to tell us on the phone today: "Ayres is no longer a member. You have to have a license to practise medicine, and if you don't have one, you can't be a member. We are aware that he was arrested two years ago, and that he no longer has a license and can't practise medicine. As of this week, his membership was terminated"

As for his "Distinguished Life Fellow" status, Ms. Hughes said, " He no longer has that title. He is a former Distinguished Life Fellow, but he is not one now. "

In no uncertain terms -- Ms. Hughes made it very clear that her association has no ties whatsoever to Ayres these days. They clearly don't want to be tainted by any connection to him now.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Trial Dates set for Civil Lawsuits

[Original post date: 12/18/09 12:00pm PST by Deep Sounding] 

Trial dates were set today at the case management hearing for four civil lawsuits against defendant "John Doe #1" (william hamilton ayres, one time president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) relating to his molestation of young male patients under the guise of providing "psychiatric treatment."

ayres was represented on the phone by his attorneys (I believe from two firms: Sideman & Bancroft LLP for three of the cases, and Donnelly Nelson Depolo & Murray LLP for the CIV467743 Case.)

The four plaintiffs are represented by two firms: The Law Offices of Carcione, Cattermole, Dolinski, Okimoto, Stucky, Ukshini, Markowitz & Carcione, LLP for three of the cases, (They are local) and one member of the firm was present to represent their plaintiffs,  and The Drivon Law Firm for case number CIV467273 was present on the phone.

Superior Court Judge George A. Miram indicated that it is now time to set trial dates for the cases, and as he did with most of the cases heard today, he encouraged mediation.

One of ayres' lawyers asked for some time to "work up the case a little bit" and the judge promptly admonished her that this was a very old case, and that mediation could be set early or late, but that they would be setting a trial date. [In the October-ish timeframe]

There was some  brief discussion about the stay for discovery having been lifted. The attorney for the plaintiff in CIV467273 mentioned that he was not part of that motion, but that the facts in the case are the same as in the other three cases handled by the Carcione firm, and wanted to clarify how this would proceed. The judge asked ayres' attorneys if they would stipulate that the stay is lifted for that case as well, and they agreed. As of today's date, the stay of discovery has been lifted for all parties.

No one objected to setting up mediation prior to trial.

The judge asked if they wanted concurrent or back-to-back trials, and the plaintiffs asked for back-to-back, stating that there might be some consolidation at some point. ( I'm assuming that most of this has to do with the outcome of the criminal trial, and possible settlements/advantages of a unified front that will come from that.)

There was some minor haggling over the trial dates: The Carcione firm was prepared with something like "earlier than that would be fine"  and the other plaintiff's attorney was happy with "anything after October 18th."

One of the defense attorneys was argumentative when one of the dates was set for August 30th. When the judge asked (twice) why this was a problem, she replied "Well only because you had mentioned October..."  (This was the same attorney who, in the last case management hearing, interrupted the judge to erroneously claim that there was a defendant who had not been served, in an attempt to buy more time. She sounds like a real "winner" ... I'm guessing her family are all spending Christmas wherever she is not.) 

So the judge grudgingly moved the date of that trial to early November.

The trial dates are as follows:
CIV467741 September 13th, 2010
CIV467743 October 4th, 2010
CIV467273 October 18th, 2010
CIV467742 November 1, 2010

(The estimated duration is 15 days for each, and so there is some overlap, which was intended.)
[Update: 1/11/10 9:00pm PST by Deep Sounding]:
I'm fairly certain that the durations initially discussed were 15 days. (The judge was querying each side about expected duration, and setting the longest estimate as the expected duration.) At some point that estimate must have been reduced to 10 days, as that's what is currently showing in the court documents for each of the respective cases.
Everyone was then trotted off to schedule mediation timeframes.

Oh, and there were several members of the press present.
(Just a bit of holiday kidding there... I'm pretty sure there were none.)

Case Number information follows:

NOTE: there is a glitch with links into the court document system, and you will have to click on one of those links AGAIN after the first click results in a blank results page. The links should work after that. NOTE ALSO that those case information pages have some Acrobat files attached with additional detail. See the links on the right-hand side under the "Image" column on the court information pages.
CIV467273, CIV467741, CIV467742, CIV467743

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yale Debunks Ayres: "Our Child Psychiatrists Have Never Trained Pediatric Interns To Do Physical Exams"

We were perusing the court transcript of Dr. Ayres' testimony from the first criminal trial recently when a name caught our eye on page 30: "Al Songden." That's the child psychiatrist at Yale whom Ayres said told him "not to wear rubber gloves" when Ayres, as a pediatric intern, was conducting physical exams. Here are Ayres' exact quotes about Songden:

"But along came Al Songden, who was a child psychiatrist, a very young child psychiatrist at Yale at that time... So what happened is, he trained us. And the training I thought, was particularly useful, and I was very interested. And he said that children are scared, and don't put rubber gloves on because they're going to think that you think they're dirty, and they're going to find that strange."

That got us thinking..... would a child psychiatrist really be advising an intern in pediatrics- a completely different specialty-- on the ins and outs of a physical exam and particularly on something as specific as the wearing of rubber gloves? And wouldn't Yale's own pediatric faculty be teaching Ayres - in his one and only year of pediatrics training- on how to conduct a physical exam?

So we decided to hunt down this "Al Songden" ourselves and get it straight from the horse's mouth. But it turns out there is no "Al Songden," according to a number of old time staffers at Yale. The child psychiatrist Ayres was actually referring to was Dr. Albert Solnit, a pioneering psychiatrist at Yale's Child Study Center. Dr. Solnit died in a car crash in 2002. Still, there are a number of people around at Yale who knew Solnit well and worked with him.

First we got the scoop on Dr. Solnit from the pediatrics side at Yale. We spoke with pediatrician Dr. Howard Pearson, a 1954 graduate of Harvard Medical School who has been on the staff of pediatrics at Yale since the 1960s. Pearson knew Dr. Solnit and his work very well.

We asked Dr. Pearson if Solnit or any other child psychiatrist in the history of Yale had trained pediatric interns on how to do physical exams

Pearson shot that one down immediately and unequivocally. "Nonsense," he said. "Child psychiatrists like Solnit, who were from the Child Study Program at Yale have had historically a very minor role with pediatrics. Pediatric residents might hear a couple of lectures by a child psychiatrist, or once in a great while a psychiatrist may be called in for a consultation, but that's it. Solnit would certainly not have been brought in to teach pediatric interns about physical exams, because at Yale, child psychiatrists don't do physical exams. It's just nonsense!!"

Ok, so having cleared that up from the pediatrics side, we moved on to the child psychiatrist's point of view at Yale. For that we sought out child psychiatrist Dr. John Showalter, who was the first Albert J. Solnit Professor at the Yale Child Study Center. Showalter told us that he was very close with Solnit. "He was like a father to me," he said.

Although Showalter is a child psychiatrist, like Ayres, he did his first year of residency as a pediatric intern at Yale. We asked him if Solnit had either trained him or talked to him about doing physical exams when he was in pediatrics.

"Solnit never talked to me about rubber gloves or physical exams, ever," recalled Showalter. "He told us how to talk to children when they were anxious or depressed and how to talk to the families. The pediatric training was left up to the pediatric faculty. During the years I knew Solnit as a child psychiatrist, he never talked to me about giving physical exams to kids. Solnit was a famous child analyst, and he never did physicals on children in therapy."

Ok then. So now we know: Ayres was making this all up about Dr. Solnit. What's also very important, to note is that both Dr. Solnit and Ayres' old boss George Gardner at Judge Baker, were first trained as pediatricians and then as child psychiatrists.

These doctors had years of training in pediatrics, while Ayres had only one measly year of pediatrics before moving on to adult psychiatry.
But for decades Ayres has been using that one measly year of pediatrics as an excuse to give his own special brand of hands on therapy to boys.

But wait!! Drs. Gardner and Solnit - who were trained as both child psychiatrists AND pediatricians- with years' more experience than Ayres- never physically examined children in therapy. They knew how dangerous and damaging that would be to a child in therapy. They understood that the specialties of child psychiatry and pediatrics are SEPARATE specialties, and needed to be kept that way. They respected the boundaries between the two specialties and didn't- as Ayres did- get them all tangled and snarled up in their heads.

But then, as we have seen with Ayres and his victims, Ayres has never respected the boundaries between anyone or anything.

As Ayres can no longer blame either Judge Baker or Yale for his pedophilia, we wonder what excuse he's gonna come up with next. Whatever it is, we'll be there, ready to fact check it to kingdom come!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Judge Baker Had A Staff Pediatrician When Ayres Was There!

We just recently got our hands on a 1964 annual report from Judge Baker Guidance Center in Boston. As readers here may remember, that's where Ayres worked from 1959-1963. Imagine our surprise when we read that Judge Baker had a staff pediatrician - as well as three nurses!!! The staff pediatrician - Josephine L. Murray is now 89 and couldn't talk to us because she is suffering from Alzheimer's and has no memory, according to our caregiver.

Still, we wanted to know if there was a staff pediatrician when Ayres was there. So we called psychologist Pauline B. Hahn, who was at Judge Baker for more than 50 years. Hahn is 86 and sharp as a tack. She's also the go- to person for people who want to know about the history of Judge Baker. Back in August, Hahn who worked at "the Baker" from the 1940s to the 1990s told us that at no time has any child psychiatrist there been permitted to give physical exams to children in therapy. Now, Hahn tells us that Judge Baker has always had a staff pediatrician!!!

Well, now. So where does that leave Ayres? Back then, was he of the mindset that pediatricians were "too quick " with exams and not thorough enough - as he actually had the gall to say at the trial in July ? Did he practise his own special brand of hands-on therapy there? It's looking increasingly likely......

And here's another interesting nugget: we talked to an educator who worked at the Manville School at Judge Baker when Ayres was there.The Manville School was the residential school for the kids at Judge Baker, and the classrooms were in the basement of the building. This man recalls that a woman named Solveig Troxel( who, in March 1962 would become Ayres' wife) taught young boys at the Manville School, and that Ayres used to come and "hang around her classroom a lot and watch the boys." I guess that's what made Solveig so attractive-like Judge Marta Diaz- she offered a pipeline to boys!!

This educator distinctly remembers that Ayres was angry at the esteemed head of Judge Baker- George E. Gardner. Gardner went to Harvard undergrad and to Harvard Medical School, had (unlike Ayres) many studies and papers published and was one of the most beloved and respected directors of Judge Baker. Still, this Judge Baker educator remembers that Ayres wrote a "scathing memo" criticizing his boss, George Gardner because Ayres thought he wasn't "paying enough attention to the Manville School." This former colleague remembers that Ayres' critical memo was circulated among the staff.

We asked former Judge Baker psychologist Pauline Hahn whether it was normal for young psychiatrists to foment dissent and be critical of Gardner. Hahn said it was unheard of. "Ayres picked the wrong person to attack!" she said. And then she told us that it was Gardner himself who had actually secured the money from a benefactor that would create the Manville School. "To say that Gardner didn't do enough for the Manville School is just NOT accurate - it's ridiculous!" she said.

So then, what possibly could be behind Ayres' attack on his far more accomplished boss? We can only wonder... Had Gardner already called Ayres to the carpet about his problems with boundary issues with boys? We know that Ayres has been vindictive towards doctors in California who spoke out against him... so was Ayres being vindictive towards Gardner for daring to speak out against his touching kids? Was this "memo" a coverup - an excuse that Ayres used to leave Judge Baker, when in fact he may have already been asked to leave? Did he not get the support from his colleagues in his attacks against Gardner?

For Ayres to leave Judge Baker "abruptly" -as Joel, one of his former patients recalls- sure seems strange. Ayres was ambitious, and according to a 1953 article in Time magazine, Judge Baker was THE place to be for child psychiatrists. According to Time, "Boston has become a hub for child psychiatry" and Judge Baker was the center of that hub.

For an ambitious doctor like Ayres to move from the hub of child psychiatry - and with its ties to Harvard Medical School - to private practise in a small town in California that most people have never heard of seems most odd indeed....

Finally, there's Ayres' own testimony during the trial on the circumstances of his leaving Judge Baker. When asked by his lawyer Doron Weinberg what he was doing in 1963, Ayres replied " I also decided-- I had been in psychoanalysis for a while in New Haven and then again in Boston. And I decided that I was not going to reapply to the Institute of Boston, who had encouraged me to finish my training and then to reapply, but that I would rather go east-- go west and enjoy the weather."

"Would rather go East..." hmm, sounds like a Freudian slip to us.

In the transcript of Ayres' testimony what strikes us as odd is that Ayres doesn't talk about his actual training at Judge Baker - the only place where he studied child psychiatry at all. In other parts, he talks about his one year of pediatric training at Yale but in the one key area- his four years of child psychiatry training- he is curiously distant and detached and pretty much mum....

Instead of referring to his time as being at Judge Baker, he refers to it as being "at Harvard." Which is really strange- because every single one of the forty or so doctors we've spoken to have who have trained at Judge Baker all call it working at Judge Baker. The reason for this is that there are about seven institutions in Boston like Judge Baker that are affiliated with Harvard, such as Mass. General or Children's Hospital. A child psychiatrist who trained at Children's Hospital says they trained at Children's Hospital. Ditto those who worked at Mass. General and of course for Judge Baker. We have yet to encounter a single child psychiatrist who has referred to his training as working at Harvard.

We suspect Ayres uses the word "Harvard" in place of Judge Baker because he's trying to prevent us from looking too closely at his time at Judge Baker. Way, way, too late for that...And a little birdy has told us we're not the only ones looking at his Boston days, either.

To be continued....