Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And Let's Not Forget the Civil Suits Against Ayres!


To the best of our knowledge,there are currently four molestation civil suits that are in the works against Ayres. In addition, another civil suit was settled by victim Steve A in 2005.
You can see the progress of these civil suits as they wend their way through the courts over at www.sanmateocourt.org
The case numbers for these cases are:
Anyone else care to add to this list?

Message From Mother of Victim Alan Y

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 !

Second Juror Weighs In Here

Today we received another post from an "Anonymous" poster, who says they were a juror on the case in the comments section.

Here it is:


It truly is a sad time! I was a member of this jury and want to express how sorry I am that we were not able to bring closure in this case. For the victims that had the strength to come forward to tell about the wrongs that were done to them I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult this was. The strength it must have taken to sit in front of the courtroom and tell about the pain and such personal details about the wrongs done to them is beyond belief. The pain makes me buckle at the knees! Although I am not a parent myself I can only imagine the pain the parents of these men must feel to have learned about how their child was "cared for" when taken for help for behavioral problems. Thank you for for your courage to take the stand. The foreman of the jury, who worked very hard to get closure in this case, shared his sentiments and said it so eloquently. I share his sentiments exactly. All of the victims in this case, including their parents and any victims that did not take the stand, will remain in my thoughts forever.
July 29, 2009 8:24 AM
---------------

The victims and their families and supporters and everyone here want to thank the juror for this message, and for their work on the case.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So Close..........11-1 on SIX COUNTS !!

Some very encouraging news: we can report that the jury was very close to convicting Ayres on one count, and that the vote was 11-1. We can also report that there was another vote of 10-2 to convict on another count.

Update: The San Francisco Chronicle is now reporting that the jury was leaning toward conviction on ALL nine counts. 11-1 on six counts, 10-2 on one count and 7-5 on two counts.


It's no surprise to us that the holdout juror on the 11-1 counts was the young woman who had recently graduated from law school. Those of you who read our interview with the first dismissed juror in "The Dismissed Juror's Story" from July 20, 2009 will remember that she singled out the young lawyer as someone who would never convict. In that story the dismissed juror told us was that the young lawyer said of the victims who testified:" I believe they believe they are telling the truth, but I don't believe they are."

We can't help wondering if this young juror would have changed her vote had she known the following:

- that there are least 42 victims and counting.

- that Ayres paid almost $400,000 in a molestation civil suit to a victim

- that Ayres had in his possession photo books of nude adolescent boys in sexually provocative poses - some in locker rooms. If the books had been admitted as evidence ( and would have, had the police followed the proper procedures for the search warrant), would the juror have startled - as many in the courtroom who knew about the sickening naked boy books did -- when she heard the good doctor fondly reminisce on the stand about his teenage days, "when boys walked around buck naked in locker rooms, snapping towels at each other?"

- Would the juror have voted differently had she known that although Ayres maintains he had been trained to give physicals during the therapeutic exam at Judge Baker Guidance Center in Boston,his colleagues who trained with Ayres in Boston in 1960s have said that they were NOT EVER trained to give physicals to boys, and never touched any boys during therapy and indeed said that it was crazy for him to suggest that they did ? And that a number of his colleagues from his training days were shocked and appalled at the thought that a child psychiatrist would touch a boy in therapy?

- Would the juror have voted differently had she known that at least three victims had been anally penetrated - one of them the victim who dropped out at the last minute out of anxiety about having to testify to this?

- Would the juror have voted differently had she known that some therapists actually tried to file a complaint to Childrens Services about Ayres?

Would the juror have voted differently had she heard from child psychiatrist Dr. David Schwartz, who was interviewed by the San Mateo Police Department during Greg Hogue's case in 1987 about whether it was proper for a shrink to be touching the genitals of boys, and who told them "Absolutely not! It's dangerous!" Would she have had second thoughts about acquitting had she heard Dr. Schwartz testify that he told the cops that he had a patient whom he suspected had been molested by Ayres?

- Would she have felt differently had she known that one of Ayres' former partners believed that he too had a patient he believed was molested by Ayres?

- Would she have done it differently had she known many doctors just stopped sending boys to Ayres because they suspected that he was molesting boys?

-Would she have voted differently had she, say, been able to hear from an FBI sex abuse profiler who would talk about how most men who are molested never come forward?

Would she have voted differently had she known that at least one victim was a lawyer ?

-Who knows.. maybe she would have still voted to acquit. Maybe she wants to be a private defender. Maybe she is hoping to get a job with Weinberg.

Whatever. A number of sex crimes prosecutors and judges have told us that women in their twenties ( and men too) are in general not good to have on juries in sex crimes cases. There are always exceptions but the general consensus is that these young ones do not have the life experience to grasp the evil that some can do.

However, it is our strong belief that given the good news about how close the jury was to convict on at least two counts, that there's a high probability that the DA will retry the case.

If there is a retrial, we hope that a lesson has been learned. We hope next time around to see older jurors who have children.


UPDATE: This San Mateo County Times story was listed as one of the top news stories on the Yahoo page at 5:50 pm today:

San Mateo County jury was leaning toward conviction in Ayres molestation trial

Hung Jury - Mistrial Declared


Of all the creatures that were made, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood he is the only one--the solitary one--that possesses malice. That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices--the most hateful. He is the only creature that has pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. Also--in all the list he is the only creature that has a nasty mind. -Mark Twain

MISTRIAL IS DECLARED.
Monday, July 27, 2009

It's done. The jury has come back hung again.
The judge has declared a mistrial.
The jury is free to discuss the case.

We received this comment Monday night from an anonymous poster:


Good evening. It is a sad night.

I was the foreman of this jury.

I am looking for the best outlet to express my sincerest thanks and admiration for the victims who stepped forward in this trial. I pray that they read this post.

The courage you showed in reliving the unthinkable wrongs committed against you will guide me for the rest of my life. I offer my deepest apologies that I could not give you closure.

Thank you also for the bravery shown by the parents who took the stand. I am sorry for not giving you the verdict you deserve. As a father myself, I can't imagine the pain you have endured. Your strength will inspire us all.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers tonight.


Thanks, Mr. Foreman, we certainly appreciate your efforts and your prayers!


UPDATES: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009:


As always, we have some very kind words of support from Patient Advocate.

There are a some good wrap-up articles out there in the newpapers.
Some clarifications, for those of us who have been discussing it:

- There were no further clarifications of the vote counts for each of the charges in open court, only the "ranges" that were given early yesterday, and no clear indication which way they fall.

- ayres is still free on $750,000 bail: the case is still unresolved, and will not be resolved until either he is re-tried, takes a plea bargain, or the charges are dropped. His current status is basically the same as it was before the trial started. There is a hearing on whether or not he will be re-tried on August 28th, 2009.

Here are some links:

Michelle Durand's story in the San Mateo Daily Journal (The Friday juror dismissal part has been worded more neutrally, which is entirely appropriate given our understanding of the situation - we have spoken to two people who were in the courtroom at the time of dismissal.)

John Koopman's story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Joshua Melvin's story in the San Mateo County Times.

A new blog entry over here: forensicpsychologist.blogspot.com



UPDATES: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 1:00PM:


We just got this post in the comments. I'm glad he posted about his memory of events. It fits well with my own take on the situation, and I'm confident that all of the guys are in the same boat.(There are a few replies to his comment already in the comments section for this post.)

Deep Sounding, Thank you for keeping us all up to date and in tune with the case. As a victim who decided to testify and be a part of this whole mess it has not been easy to say the least. It has been very tough to follow everything that has been going on and to read what ignorant people can say about you (especially you “News Flash”… you know who you are). However, I always rest assured that there was a strong support group behind us when I would read your blog. I have been trying to keep a very positive outlook over the past 2 years and especially the past 14 days. Unfortunately, the outcome is not what we all had hoped but in the end, Ayres knows what he had done and the victims can feel somewhat of a sense of relief by knowing that we all have stood up together and told our stories and were not silent in the least. I know my story has nothing to do with memory or anything else that one may think. It is a story of being taken advantage of when I was in need of help by a person who felt they where above the law and any type of moral or ethic code. What I experienced over 17 years ago is very clear to me and has not been tarnished in any way. My story has not been elaborated over the years and has been kept very straight in my head. All I can say is that I took a leap of faith to tell my story in front of strangers with nothing at all to gain except closure and maybe a stronger piece of mind. For what it is worth I know I have obtained this. Thank you again DS for all your support and encouragement. Now, we will let the Karma gods go to work!

Go over here, and do this

Not a wordy post tonight... just a quick one:

Go over here, read this, then download it and use it. What could be easier?

While I'm thinking about it:

We find not much in ourselves to admire, we are always privately wanting to be like somebody else. If everybody was satisfied with himself there would be no heroes.
- Mark Twain's Autobiography

Thank you to: Victoria Balfour, and Patient Advocate, and CaliGirl9, and Michael Stogner, and the reporters and bloggers who covered the case. Thank you to the guys who bravely took the stand, and those who spoke up, but weren't able to take the stand for a variety of reasons. Thank you to Melissa McKowan and Detective Decker. Thank you to parents and families and friends (some new, some old) for your support.

Let's all take a moment to re-group, and productively move to the next step.

The Persistence of Memory

[EDIT: Originally posted in the morning on Monday, July 27th, 2009]

Fabricated memories, Lost memories, recovered memories, conflicting memory expert testimony…


Rubbish and subterfuge: all of it.

Prior to talking to the police, I had never discussed any details about what went on in ayres’ office with anyone. I had seen a couple of stories in the news, with some vague and limited statements about “stripping naked, and masturbation” Even the very limited details had what I knew were partial truth along with significant errors, probably deliberately released to help weed out false reports.

When I first went to the police to file my out-of-statute report about ayres molestations, I was very afraid: What if it turns out that I’m the only one? What if I report and they want me to testify and I decide I don’t want to? Can they come to my work, arrest me, and force me to testify, causing yet more humiliation, disruption and damage? Will the slimeball defense attorney be able to have access to every aspect of my life, interview everyone I know for the purpose of discrediting, embarrassing me?

I placed my call to the police from a disposable cell phone, purchased with cash in a town that I’ve never been to before. The battery was removed anytime I was getting anywhere near home, so that they could not figure out what city I lived in based on cell phone signal records. I asked questions, without giving my name, and then said I’d call back with a decision about whether I wanted to file a report or not.

Then I began to think about what the process might be like. I realized that I’d probably only have one interview, maybe two before I would testify in trial, if it ever happened. I knew that I needed to be objective, clear, direct, brutally honest, and consistent: only discussing what I know to be true.

On the day of the interview, I called in sick to work, to brace myself, and organize my thoughts.

When the interview started, I don’t recall there even being any question asked. I think it was something like: “OK, Go ahead, tell me what happened.” I decided to start by drawing a sketch of ayres’ office layout describing the brown wooden walls and doors, and white tabletop with the shelf above it, where ayres had all of his bribes for boys, and where he could molest them if he wanted to do it with them lying down. While I was drawing the picture and describing it, I was thinking… maybe this is all distorted, maybe they weren’t doors, maybe the walls weren’t wood. I added: “At least I’m pretty sure they were folding doors, maybe they slid back in…” A point of interest here: maybe I was faltering on the detail about the wood door, but the white table and it’s purpose, along with the full shelf of plastic models were long since burned into my memory -- no faltering there. Imagine my horror and disgust when ayres described FONDLY during his own testimony THE EXACT THING THAT I HAD DRAWN, down to the detail of the folding wooden doors.

Over the course of the interview (and recalling that I had prepared myself to be direct, brutally honest) my statements changed over the course of the interview: At the beginning: “He touched me in the private region.” Later, to clarify: “his hand was on my genitals, and he was doing the following…” and finally at the end of the interview, describing the actions in plain detail using slang terms for body parts, and giving detail about the explicit, and sexual nature of the things that ayres was saying while he was doing it. Did I change my story? Did I make new stuff up as I went along, was I led to answer these things in a certain way by the nature or wording of the detective’s questions? No, no, no, and no.

I went in with a specific, concrete memory in my head, and even though I had steeled myself to be direct and brutally honest, I did not start with the most explicit and fully detailed explanation of what happened. Who does that in an entirely new situation, with a stranger, even in a “professional” setting? These are painful memories, on a topic that no one discusses in public, and even though I was in a room with only one person, I knew that this conversation was going to be a part of the public record if it made it into the trial. That does not mean that I made stuff up, or enhanced as I went along, or was lead to give certain answers during the interview. It means that I was easing into discussing something intensely embarrassing and personal with the public, which I had never before discussed even with my closest friends, nor in years of therapy, for which I had hoped to find the courage to discuss this very topic, nor with a pastor. What if I had ever had a second interview? Would there be more detail as I became familiar with the process of baring my soul? Absolutely, and perhaps even more detail at the trial. Does this make me a liar? Someone purporting memories that are not real because they were not reported exactly that way the first or second time? No, not at all: it means that I am discussing painful memories that have not changed, under differing circumstances. The descriptions ALL describe the same real things that ayres did.

Over the course of the interview, the detective really asked very few questions, and most of those I answered with “I don’t really remember” or “maybe but I’m not sure” I even called attention to what I thought was misinformation printed in the press, and questioned if maybe it had been released to help weed out false reports… I said that I know for certain that it’s not correct. I got nothing but a blank stare.

When he did ask questions, they were questions of clarification: “did ayres wear gloves” for example. “I have no idea. I don’t think so, but maybe, I don’t remember.” Was it really relevant? Perhaps in presentation of the facts it was relevant to show that ayres was doing this for personal gratification, but in my mind, at the time that it happened, gloves were the least of my concerns, and I simply don’t remember.

These are not memories that are “recovered” nor were they ever “suppressed” I struggled with these memories in high school: without getting into any personal specifics, they warped the very way that I thought about things. High School was miserable. College was miserable. I could not focus on the work. Not for the usual social reasons though. I was busy trying to deny and forget my memories, and work around my warped way of looking at things. I started to see a shrink at the college. I told the shrink “I saw dr. ayres when I was young.” Blank look. “He’s supposed to be one of the best.” Blank look… Well, maybe I was the only one, or maybe she doesn’t know what ayres was doing to young boys. Or maybe she does know, and doesn’t want to be bothered… Maybe I’m insane, or the only one, maybe it’s my fault….

My 10 sessions went by, and then she sent me to group therapy, It was 6 young women, 1 very effeminate young man, and me. I did that for awhile. Mostly I tried to figure out how I could get one of the women to like me, while talking about inane things that bother me… “I sure hate my calc prof…”

Later the first shrink recommended me to an off-campus shrink. I don’t know how many years I saw him. “I saw dr. ayres when I was young.” Blank look. “He’s supposed to be one of the best.” Blank look… Well, maybe I was the only one, or maybe HE doesn’t know what ayres was doing to young boys. Or maybe he does know, and doesn’t want to be bothered… Maybe I’m insane, or the only one, maybe it’s my fault…. Probably pulled the “I went to dr ayres” thing out of my hat every six months or so to see if there were any new developments.

Then the civil trial is announced. Hmm.. So I wasn’t the only one. So, because I did nothing, other boys were molested. Well there’s a dirty and crushing little secret to keep.

Memory Experts testimony during the trial: Great for the defense. Wave the hands around: “Hey look over here… nothing up my sleeve.”

All of it completely pointless.

The memories that I have that are incriminating of ayres are not made up, they’re not repressed, they’re not inspired by the dearth of questions asked by the police detective, and they aren’t deterred by the red-herring information given to the press. They’ve been there all along. They weren’t even successfully suppressed. God knows I tried to suppress them. God knows how my thinking is twisted by what happened there, what stress it puts on what should be a normal healthy adult way of thinking. The memories have always been there all the time, waiting right there to humiliate me, to make me feel guilty at every turn.

“Memory does not improve over time.”

Nope, I’m sure it probably doesn’t. The things that I’ve forgotten, or not thought about for a long time are really not the most humiliating aspects of what happened. Did he wear gloves? “Ah ha! You don’t remember whether or not he wore gloves! You must be a LIAR” Wave your hands: "Nothing up my sleeve!"

That humiliating stuff? I get to remember THAT clearly quite frequently.

The jury decision may indeed hinge on what they think about repressed or induced memories, but it’s all just bullshit.

Monday, July 27, 2009

URGENT UPDATE - IT'S NOT OVER

URGENT UPDATE: 3:10PM PST:

Jury has been SENT BACK TO DELIBERATE.

The judge asked the jury for a count of votes, without indicating for or against conviction. The judge then asked if there was anything they could clarify for the jury. We're not yet sure what the clarification was, but the judge sent them back in.

The jury is un-hung.

UPDATE: 3:45PM PST:
The jury asked for clarification of the definition of "masturbation", or something very much along that line. On the question of vote counts: The count splits varied widely on each of the 9 individual counts, we don't have all of the totals, but they range from 11-1 to 7-5. (Again, not knowing which way the split falls.

The jury was coming back in again at 3:50PM, The time of this writing.

Hung Jury

THE JURY IS HUNG.

This is not a misprint. News was delivered by Melissa McKowan.
July 27, 2009 2:15PM

Also confirmed by call from DA's office. Press has been notified of deadlock. Jury will be brought out at 2:40PM PST.

Jury Deliberation - Day 10: Monday 07/27/2009

The jury is in day ten of deliberation.
In case you missed it:
Wednesday, July 22nd one juror was dismissed and replaced with an alternate.
Friday, July 17th, one juror was dismissed and replaced with an alternate.


I ought to be ashamed, but I never remember anything whatever except humiliation. If by some lucky chance there had been humiliation mixed in, I could remember every detail of that day for a thousand years. -Mark Twain

Make sure you check out Monday's Memorable Artwork over at Patient Advocate's site!

Monday, July 27th 06:50AM PST:
And so we begin another day. Our Ninja Squad is suiting up.

Monday, July 27th 08:45AM PST:
First juror shows at 8:35. Weinberg shows up at 8:37, doing the blowfish cheeks thing, following closely behind the group of jurors as they enter. Spot a gaggle of jurors, and there you'll find Weinberg, closer than social convention allows. Maybe he's spinning innuendo with which to mislead the press, when they phone him at the end of the day.

The group of jurors goes into the courthouse at the same time, for the most part. It seems that they're getting here early of late, more than they were when the evidence was being presented. They are looking pensive, the foreman is not looking resolved.

Monday, July 27th 09:10AM PST:
McKowan and Weinberg were in the courtroom until about 9:05AM, and then both came out discussing something. "Defense Expert" was mentioned. McKowan left shortly afterwards, but Weinberg is still milling about.

Monday, July 27th 09:30AM PST:
McKowan and Weinberg are waiting for an appointment time to open up to see the judge. (Other stuff is going on in the courtroom today, they waited around for about 15 min before asking for an appointment.)

Monday, July 27th 01:30PM PST:
The jury was not spotted at lunch. Speculation in comments to this thread are that the reason McKowan and Weinberg needed to meet with the judge was either for a read-back, or could be discussion of a plea deal. (Personally I think this is unlikely, but I really have no experience in this area.)

Monday, July 27th 02:10PM PST:
McKowan and Weinberg met with the judge for about 5 minutes. Probably regarding read backs. When they came back out, Weinberg didn't look happy, and McKowan had a bit of a swagger in her step.

It is very likely that we will not make it to court in time once the jury has reached a verdict. Once the jury has reached a verdict, it can be as little as a half an hour between the time that we will get a call and it is read in court. We will post as soon as we have confirmation of verdict.
Courtroom 2L
Superior Court Clerk's office: 650-599-1170
ayres' criminal case number:SC064366

Hey, Doron Weinberg!! What's This Little 8-4 Acquittal Story You've Been Feeding To Reporters?

[DS NOTE: Originally posted on Saturday, July 25, 2009.]

Today we happened upon a piece on the San Francisco Chronicle blog called "Whatever Happened to?" about the slow pace of the Ayres trial.
Here's the story:
It's turning into a long slog for the San Mateo County jury trying to decide whether the prominent psychiatrist acccused of molesting boys sent to his office over the years, Dr. William Ayres, committed the crimes.
Ayres, 77, who used to treat patients referred to him by county juvenile justice and social services workers, is charged with molesting six boys under his care. Some of his alleged victims, now men in their 20s and 30s, took the stand during a trial in which testimony began June 23.
Ayres himself told the jury that it was his practice to give boys physical exams that sometimes involved touching their genitals, but that he had never molested anyone. (You can read reporter John Koopman's coverage of the trialhere.) The former American Academy of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry president remains free on bail while the jury decides his fate.
Not all the original jurors, however, remain. Last Friday, several days into deliberations, a woman was dropped from the panel because of an issue concerning her juror questionnaire. (An earlier version of this post gave the jury's split, but the information was sketchy so it's been clipped.)
Judge Beth Freeman seated an alternate and told the jury to start all over. Then this week, a juror fell ill and the panel got a new alternate -- and a fresh instruction from Freeman to start from the beginning.
Thursday was the seventh day of deliberations, and still no verdict. The jurors go back at it today.
Posted By:Trapper Byrne(Email)|July 23 2009 at 06:20 PM
Listed Under:Trials

Read more:http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/crime/detail?entry_id=44193&o=2#commentslistpos#ixzz0MK26dtSO


___

In an earlier version today of the above item, the Chronicle story had said that the first dismissed juror had "told reporters" that when she left that the jury was split at "8-4 for acquittal. " When we read that information, our BS detector went off. We were at the courthouse when the first dismissed juror was kicked off. We spoke to her at length that day, and since then have spoken to her almost every day. We just got off the phone with her again today and she told us that she has never spoken to any mainstream reporters. She has only spoken to a correspondent from this blog, a parent of a victim, and two people who have no personal ties to the case who happened to be in the courtroom that day. She told us that at no time has she ever told anyone that when she left the jury was split 8-4 for acquittal. She asked us to get to the bottom of how the Chronicle came with this information.

Here's what we learned. Doron Weinberg told Chronicle reporter John Koopman that he heard the juror say this when she was having a conference with the judge about what she had told another juror. The juror told us today that this information is false: that when she had this conference with the judge in front of Weinberg and the prosecutor, she was instructed to only talk about her conversation about her old memory with the other juror. At no time, this juror told us, did she say anything to the judge with Weinberg and the prosecutor in attendance about which juror was for conviction and who was for acquittal. "That would have been misconduct," she told us. "It's just ridiculous."

Additionally, the dismissed juror told us that this 8-4 number isn't even correct. When she left, she said, there were three young women jurors who did not believe the victims, but that a larger number did believe the victims. The juror is upset with false information being spread about her in the paper. We also would like to hear from Doron Weinberg about where he got this number. We also would like to ask the Chronicle this: seriously, do you really think a juror in the middle of deliberations would be permitted to tell a judge in the presence of the defense attorney and the prosecutor about which side the jury was leaning? Shame on the Chronicle for printing this second hand information from one source.

Let's repeat this:

1) The juror has never spoken to any reporters about the case

2) She never said that the jury was 8-4 for acquittal in a meeting with the judge in front of Weinberg and the prosecutor

3) She says that when she left she couldn't give a solid number as to who was for acquittal and who was for conviction because there were so many counts and six victims

4) The dismissed juror said that when she left all the jurors but one were for convicting Ayres on the molestation of at least one victim.

Because of our sleuthing, and our request that the Chronicle be accountable for its information, the 8-4 acquittal number was just removed from the Chronicle blog

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jury Deliberation - Day 9: Fri 07/24/2009

The jury is in day nine of deliberation.
In case you missed it:
Wednesday, July 22nd one juror was dismissed and replaced with an alternate.
Friday, July 17th, one juror was dismissed and replaced with an alternate.


Friday, July 24th 6:55AM PST:

When angry count four; when very angry, swear. -Mark Twain

We have our squad of helicopters ready to go for Jurywatch Day 9. Did we mention the Ninjas? We WILL tell you whether the jury foreman likes mustard or mayo on his sandwiches. (His freaking sandwiches, if you're very angry.)

Make sure you check out Friday's Artwork over at Patient Advocate's site!

Friday, July 24th 11:20AM PST:
According to Trapellar, who checked with the court clerk at 9:30ish, the jury is in deliberation.

Friday, July 24th 1:30PM PST:
Our Ninja squad was not able to spot the jury at all during the lunch period today, so we have called off the black helicopters. Weinberg, on the other hand was seen lunching on the square. Probably milling about hoping to influence some of the jurors with his charming bile smile and rapier shit. wit.


Friday, July 24th 4:07PM PST:
The court clerk indicates that the jury is still deliberating. No news is... no news.


It is very likely that we will not make it to court in time once the jury has reached a verdict. Once the jury has reached a verdict, it can be as little as a half an hour between the time that we will get a call and it is read in court. We will post as soon as we have confirmation of verdict.
Courtroom 2L
Superior Court Clerk's office: 650-599-1170
ayres' criminal case number:SC064366

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jury Deliberation - Day 8: Thurs 07/23/2009

The jury is in day eight of deliberation.
In case you missed it:
Yesterday one juror was dismissed and replaced with an alternate.
Last Friday, one juror was dismissed and replaced with an alternate.


Thursday, July 23rd 6:30AM PST:

Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. -Mark Twain
As usual, Twain uses a double edged pen. Be wary lest it cut deep.

Make sure you check out today's artwork over at Patient Advocate's site!


Thursday, July 23rd 12:30PM PST:

The jury got to go for a ride in the sheriff's van this afternoon for lunch. Off to an undisclosed location for consumption of tasty comestibles. But our helicopter was able to follow them...

Just kidding. No helicopter, no following. Anyone own an unmarked vehicle by the way?


It is very likely that we will not make it to court in time once the jury has reached a verdict. Once the jury has reached a verdict, it can be as little as a half an hour between the time that we will get a call and it is read in court. We will post as soon as we have confirmation of verdict.
Courtroom 2L
Superior Court Clerk's office: 650-599-1170
ayres' criminal case number:SC064366

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another Shakeup in Jury Deliberations

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This report was compiled by several of our correspondents in the field.

We can confirm that the new juror is a young African American woman. She was sworn in at 9:40 am with the prosecutor and Doron Weinberg in attendance. She is the only African American on the jury. We believe she is a rehabilitation therapist. Word is that she is very pragmatic.

She replaced Juror Number 6- the extremely quiet female Asian juror who sat a little apart from everyone on the back row. We believe she was a nurse. According to our sources, Juror Six was the most quiet juror of the bunch and did not voice any strong opinions either way. We feel that her removal is kind of a wash.

Today, a little after noon, the jurors, walking in a long line behind Dave the Bailiff and looking a tad self-conscious, arrived at the outdoor seating spot in front of the Old Courthouse. They congregated mostly at shady tables by that kiosk that sells fruit drinks and sandwiches and salads. ( We don't recommend eating there by the way, because their service is maddeningly slow. One day it took us twenty-five minutes to get a grilled cheese sandwich.)

The jurors ate their sandwiches that had been delivered to the courthouse earlier in the morning.

We thought the jurors all appeared to be in good spirits. Our correspondents detected a new fluidity among the members of the jury. Many jurors who were having conversations with one person on the way to lunch surprised us by walking and talking with a completely different person after lunch.

At lunch, the foreman - in his ubiquitous shorts- was sitting at a table with the older man with the one black lens in his glasses and with the no-nonsense looking blondish nurse who appears to be somewhere in her forties. We hadn't seen that seating configuration before. Additionally, the redheaded woman juror was sitting with two of three young women - the lawyer and the nailpicker, whom we have heard is pregnant. They were all in good spirits. On Monday, this same redheaded woman sat with the foreman, so this arrangement is also new.

The new young male juror who was sworn in last Friday was sitting with Dave the Bailiff at a table out in the sun. The new male juror was very energetic and animated and was telling what looked to be a good story, with lots of hand gestures. It was good to see Bailiff Dave looking amused and relaxed as he listened.

The other young woman juror with the long wavy hair was sitting with the new African American juror. We weren't too happy to see this, but cheered up when we saw the foreman sidle up to the newest juror after lunch and walk back with her to the courthouse. They seemed to be having a good conversation.

The one juror we didn't see was the man with the grayish hair with the wire-rim glasses. Last time we saw him he was looking very tense - as if he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Today, just before they all headed back to the courthouse, the foreman and the redheaded woman ( whom we have reason to believe are both pro prosecution) were having a long conversation standing up by the food kiosk. We wondered if these two today had subconsciously tried to make inroads with the alleged anti-prosecution faction - the three young women -- by having the red headed woman eat with two of the young women. Or it could be that the redheaded woman is just a very friendly and gregarious type. We understand that she was the juror who got the idea to make up a list for all the jurors of their names and phone numbers .

We do know that the redheaded woman has a grown son who may be about the same age as some of the in statute victims.

After seeing one of the young girls having lunch with the African American juror and then seeing the reportedly pro prosecution foreman walk with her back to the courthouse after lunch, we wondered if both the pro-prosecution and anti- prosecution types are trying to court the new young black juror. Or, perhaps she has a mind of her own and knows where she stands already. If so, we of course, hoping she's on our side.

Finally, as the jurors had headed back to the courthouse, who should swoop in to the very area where they had been sitting but Berkeley's own Doron Weinberg, looking more lobster red than ever. Perhaps he was trying to sniff out out any possible vibes the jurors had left in their wake.

Update:

One of our correspondents spotted a few of the jurors leaving at 4:35 pm. They reported seeing the foreman walking towards his car in a very determined and dogged and charge-ahead fashion. Apparently he caught up to the redheaded woman and the older nurse and they all chatted amiably. Our correspondent reported that it seemed to him that the foreman and the older, more mature jurors seemed to be coalescing together and gathering strength, while the young women jurors seemed to be losing some of their power.

Stay tuned.

URGENT UPDATE - NEW ALTERNATE IN PLACE

Wednesday, July 22nd 9:15AM PST:

Michael Stogner just posted over at smdailyjournal:

New Alternate Juror in place this morning, starting back at square one again. JUROR #6 IS GONE.
Juror #6 was the quiet Asian woman with long hair, back row.

UPDATE: 12:15PM PST:
The replacement juror is the African American woman who was sitting on the front row, second seat from the back of the courtroom.


No, this isn't news from last Friday... this is fresh today: 7/22/2009. We'll post more as we get it.

Thanks for the tip Patient Advocate! (Hey... that's a hilarious picture you've got up there today!)

Jury Deliberation - Day 7: Wed 07/21/2009

The jury is in day seven of deliberation.
In case you missed it: Last Friday, one juror was dismissed and replaced with an alternate.

Wednesday, July 22nd 6:30AM PST:

All good things arrive unto them that wait--and don't die in the meantime. -Mark Twain

Wednesday, July 22nd 9:15AM PST:
Michael Stogner just posted over at smdailyjournal:
New Alternate Juror in place this morning, starting back at square one again. We'll post more as we get it.
Thanks for the tip Patient Advocate! (Hey... that's a hilarious picture you've got up there today!)


It is very likely that we will not make it to court in time once the jury has reached a verdict. Once the jury has reached a verdict, it can be as little as a half an hour between the time that we will get a call and it is read in court. We will post as soon as we have confirmation of verdict.
Courtroom 2L
Superior Court Clerk's office: 650-599-1170
ayres' criminal case number:SC064366

Article on Trials and Tribulations

CaliGirl9 has posted a new article on Trials and Tribulations.

I'm going to have to insist that you go over there and read it. It's very well written, and left me feeling in a more positive mood than when I arrived there to read it. I was going to give it a second read-through before posting here, but decided to wait for the re-read for later tonight, so I can go to bed with a positive feeling in mind.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jury Deliberation - Day 6: Tue 07/21/09

The jury is in day six of deliberation.
In case you missed it: Last Friday, one juror was dismissed and replaced with an alternate.

Tuesday, July 21st 9:15AM PST:

Over at the San Mateo Daily Journal Forum, poster Sarah has stated that a juror has called in sick. Sarah seems to know these things as they happen, and has been spot-on reliable (if brief.)

There is NO deliberation today.


It is very likely that we will not make it to court in time once the jury has reached a verdict. Once the jury has reached a verdict, it can be as little as a half an hour between the time that we will get a call and it is read in court. We will post as soon as we have confirmation of verdict.
Courtroom 2L
Superior Court Clerk's office: 650-599-1170
ayres' criminal case number:SC064366

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Jury Deliberates - Day 5: Mon, 07/20/09

The jury is in day five of deliberation.
In case you missed it: Last Friday, one juror was dismissed and replaced with an alternate.

Monday, July 20th 1:30PM PST:
No Developments to Report Yet. We didn't have anyone at court this morning, but coincidentally, we did get two reports this afternoon. The first report was that Weinberg was there, milling around the cafeteria. (Wonder how many motions for a mistrial he made today?)

Our other report was from a person who happened to be at the little square by the fountain, at around 12:30: the jury, or at least some of them, were spotted at lunch in the square, under the watchful and expert shepardry of Dave the Bailiff. (All must have been there due to sequester, but not all were recognized or spotted.) Our impromptu informant stayed well clear so as not to upset the karmic balance in the universe. (Or something like that anyway.) The jurors were situated in groups, with the three young-ish women sitting with Dave the Bailiff, and the older man with the wire rimmed glasses was off by himself. (Not the eye-patch guy) The foreman was with a small group. Our instant on-the-spot info source used the word "tension" when describing the oeuvre of the lunch break. They were gone by 1pm, back to the grindstone.


Monday, July 20th 4:50PM PST:
Jurors have not been spotted leaving the courthouse yet. Either they have a long day, or the court sneaked them out.

It is very likely that we will not make it to court in time once the jury has reached a verdict. Once the jury has reached a verdict, it can be as little as a half an hour between the time that we will get a call and it is read in court. We will post as soon as we have confirmation of verdict.
Courtroom 2L
Superior Court Clerk's office: 650-599-1170
ayres' criminal case number:SC064366

Victoria Balfour on Levi Page Show, (Last Night)

Victoria Balfour and Robin Sax discussed the ayres case on the Levi Page show last night, Sunday, July 19th 2009:





http://www.blogtalkradio.com/LeviPage/2009/07/20/The-Levi-Page-Show

Host Levi Page, crime writer Stacy Dittrich and defense attorney Stephen Naratil discuss the latest in the brutal murder case of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu and then former prosecutor Robin Sax and journalist Victoria Balfour weigh in on the case of a child psychiatrist on trial for molesting several children.

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.]

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is Ayres San Mateo's Vinnie Gigante?

Remember Mafia guy Vincent Gigante, who came to court in New York City in his bathrobe and slippers? Well, we think San Mateo's got its own Vinnie Gigante in the corpulent form of William Ayres.
We've heard from others that Ayres has been known to lack decorum and be inappropriate with his peers in social settings. But you'd think that when his future was on the line he'd attempt to rein himself in the courthouse. But no.
His behavior in the courtroom halls and outside the courthouse make us think he's really gone loopy. Many times during the trial, Ayres simply could not control himself. He had no respect for anyone's boundaries.
Some examples:
Yesterday the juror who was dismissed was sitting outside the courthouse with a group of people that included the mother of victim Greg H and Victoria Balfour when Ayres passed by with his walker ( the one he didn't need when he walked up the aisles at the opera house in San Francisco a few weeks ago. )All of a sudden Ayres started waving madly and goofily at the dismissed juror, Greg H's mom and Balfour. When no one responded, he just stood there gripping his walker, and staring and smiling at the group in a demonic way.
Then there's his wife Solveig, who also waves and smiles and says hello to mothers of in-statute victims.
Solveig actually walked up to a Bay Area news reporter and told her to find out how much the County was spending on the trial. The reporter said she would find out if Solveig would tell her how much Ayres was spending on the trial. Solveig just slunk off.
We also think it's worth repeating here that Ayres walked up to a mother of a victim in the hall and said, "Isn't it a lovely day?" When she said, "Not after what you did to my son," Ayres countered with"Oh, it isn't a lovely day?"
There was that incident when Ayres walked by child psychiatrist and supporter of the victims Dr. David Schwartz in the hall and said to him,"Are you a Scientologist?" with that crazy smirk on his face.
-Then there was that time when victim Eric B was to testify. Ayres actually walked up to Eric and coyly asked him if he was a basketball player. It sounded like a come on line to us, and also an intimidation tactic. It also is evidence that Ayres has not lost his taste for dangerous situations in his old age.
They may be an educated couple who sit in the courtroom and read the New York Times and the New Yorker - but when they're around victims and their families and their supporters, Solveig and Ayres have behaved like wilful children. Their juvenile and out of control behavior is so at odds with the setting and their age and their backgrounds, we can only think that they must be unraveling.
We often wondered whether any of their friends advised them about their inappropriate behavior and their lack of respect for boundaries. Or are their pals doormats who would never speak up ? Did Weinberg at any time caution his client to behave and control himself? Perhaps he did try and Ayres - the consummate control freak- would just not listen.
A medical colleague of Ayres desribed him as going mad - like King Lear. Perhaps, but we think much of it is just an act. And a supremely selfish one.


Felony Conviction Rate for San Mateo County

Here are the most recent statistics on the felony conviction rate for San Mateo County. This information was compiled by  the US Department of Justice.
http://stats.doj.ca.gov/cjsc_stats/prof07/41/6A.htm
Most recent figures for San Mateo County:
Year                        Conviction Rate
2007                       86.0
2006                       83.3
2005                        85.7
2004                        87.9
2003                        89.4
2002                        85.6
2001                         83.2
2000                         87.2                     

OK... Enough

After further talks with the dismissed juror last night, Trapellar has added some additional information to yesterday's post. Please re-read it, (It's the post below this one)

There is quite a bit of anger and upset about the information that we have received, and I want to try to keep it focused. I'm angry at everyone and everything too right now. (A lot actually. It's out of control.) Let's try to keep that to a minimum here. It's not done yet, so let's keep the speculation about who should have done what to a minimum if possible. I have a few opinions of my own, but please keep this perspective in mind when posting:

1) ayres is responsible for this mess, and all of the fallout.
2) the jurors needed to have more information. There are many people involved in preventing them from getting it, there are many people who did not get information pushed through in a helpful enough way. In all of the finger pointing, right off the top of my head, I can think of several more people or groups of people who have not been mentioned. Eventually, we'll just end up pointing at everyone.

Fighting amongst ourselves fingerpointing is not going to get us anywhere right now: We're back at square one with the jury. Perhaps with a new perspective the balance will change.

Let me clarify something about this blog, in case you haven't figured it out: I am one of ayres' victims. This blog is here so that his victims and their families and supporters can get up-to-date information. It is a clearly biased blog. If you are not in the above categories, and are just looking for information about the trial, you're very welcome here, and we frequently accompany our entries with links to "mainstream" press for a "less biased" viewpoint. If you believe that ayres is not guilty of the crimes which he committed, this blog is not for you.

I'm very tired, and not very charitable, or even tolerant right now. Please re-read your comments carefully before you post them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Juror has been excused. Be Prepared.

The tall thin woman juror with blue eyes in the back row has been excused, Weinberg called for a mistrial, (as always) and was denied (as always) and one of the alternate jurors has been sworn in.

The juror has talked extensively to one of our people on scene this afternoon. She was excused based on an answer to a question in her voir dire questionnaire, in part, apparently. We have her permission to use her name, but will not at the moment. [UPDATE: She does not want to talk to the press, and we will not be releasing her name, without her permission. ]

She told us that approximately 4 of the people believe that ayres is guilty, and many do not believe that he is guilty at all. She believed that he was guilty. She does not think that the forman will bend to a "not guilty" position.

It is early to tell: given the new juror, to a large extent, they will go back to square one, but I think we need to be prepared for a hung jury.

Initial indication from the excused juror is that most of the younger women on the jury do not believe that the boys were molested, and the men for the most part, do.

The Jury is in Deliberation - Day 4: Friday

The jury is in day four of deliberation.
URGENT NEW POST. SEE POST ABOVE THIS ONE.


Friday, July 17th 8:30AM PST:
Solveig, the beast, and Old Biker Hippy Chick are sitting in the cafeteria. Anticipation, or visibility to jurors? We don't know yet. Where's Robert? Maybe out parking the molest-o-mobile...
Friday, July 17th 10:20AM PST:
At about 8:45 this morning, the prosecutor indicated to one of the people on scene that there is a "jury issue" and that it is minor. At about 8:50AM this morning, the Prosecutor and Weinberg went into judge's chambers. At least two of the jurors have been called in to judges chambers briefly, and appeared in good spirits when they came out.


It is very likely that we will not make it to court in time once the jury has reached a verdict. Once the jury has reached a verdict, it can be as little as a half an hour between the time that we will get a call and it is read in court. We will post as soon as we have confirmation of verdict.
Courtroom 2L
Superior Court Clerk's office: 650-599-1170
ayres' criminal case number:SC064366

ayres On his knees begging -- for CASH

We received a copy of this email from a quite reliable source. We have not done any further verification of its veracity: [LATER NOTE: But it has been independently verified in the press, some time after we reported this originally, and our original source was VERY reliable.]

From: Lawrence Lurie [Lawrence.Lurie@ucsf.edu]
To: Undisclosed recipients:;
(williamayreswatch received it this way)

Sent: Sat, Jun 13, 2009 11:08 am
Subject: Supporting the William H. Ayres MD, Legal Defense Fund

Dear Colleagues,
Bill Ayres is currently on trial. As fellow psychiatrists, we are concerned that he receives a fair hearing. We are writing you in the hope that you will share our concern and perhaps contribute to insuring that his trial is open and unbiased.

The William H. Ayres Legal Defense Fund has been set up exclusively to support Dr. Bill Ayr es' defense and appeals. It is managed by Solveig and Bill Ayres and is not linked to any organization or group. Funds received will be used in order to provide financial support for expert testimonies in the current trial and in appeals, if necessary. Pre-trial referrals to the State Court of Appeals and the State Supreme Court were rejected with notice that they could be re-submitted if he lost the case at the trial level.

We all have known and worked with Dr Ayres for over twenty years and have had the highest respect for him as a dedicated clinician for children and adolescents. He has been a community and a professional leader in working to improve the mental health care for younger adults at local, state and national levels.

Underlying issues in this case that are of concern to us include:
1. The unprecedented, and clearly illegal, search and seizure of confidential patient files;
2. The invasion of the privacy of more than 600 patients through the use of their confidential files to identify them and inquire, without any prior evidence, if they had been molested by their psychiatrist;
3. The use of highly suggestive interview techniques to elicit evidence of misconduct; and
4. The substitution of the judgment of law enforcement officers for the considered medical opinion of a highly respected psychiatrist.

Bill and Solveig are running out of money after spending two million dollars in their own defense. If Dr. Ayres is going to have a chance at an unbiased trial, he is going to need to use expert witnesses. We are therefore encouraging colleagues who want to make sure that Bill gets a fair trial to send contributions to the William H. Ayres Legal Defense Fund. The trial is currently underway, so a prompt response is important.

Checks should be made out to:
[Legal Defense Fund name and location
REDACTED by williamayreswatch -
Nothing of use here unless you want to send money.]



Sincerely,
Bart Blinder, M.D., APA Assembly Representative 1990-Present
Etta Bryant, M.D., President Northern California ROCAP 1986-1988
Peninsula Psychiatric Assn., Partner with Dr. Ayres 1983-2003

Mel Blaustein, M.D., President Northern California Psychiatric Soc. 1991-93
Harry Coren, M.D., President, Northern California ROCAP 1994-1996
Tom Ciesla, M.D., President of California Psychiatric Ass 2000=2002
Robert Kimmich, M.D. President Northern California Psychiatric Soc. 1993-1995
Larry Lurie, M.D., President Northern California Psychiatric Soc. 1981-1982
Maria Lymberis, M.D., Secretary of American Psychiatric Assn., 2000-2002
Richard Shadoan, M.D., President of California Psychiatric Assn., 1994-1996
Captane Thomson, M.D. President of California Psychiatric Assn., 1992-94
Harold Wallach, M.D. President of California Psychiatric Assn., 1990-1992

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And the Foreman Is.....

As many of us predicted, it's a man whom we have dubbed as "Burly Guy". He sat in the front row and wears shorts to court every day. He's in his mid-forties. He has a ruddy complexion, is well-fed and has a nice demeanor. We predicted he would be foreman when on one of the last days of closing arguments he made a "let's wrap-it-up" hand gesture to Judge Freeman when she asked whether the jurors wanted to take a break or just keep it going.

We started to really like him when he didn't take any notes when that gasbag witness for the defense, Gil Kliman was testifying. We think he is a great choice for foreman.

Word is that there are two nurses on the jury as well.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Now Here's The Kind of Press Coverage We Like

This just out from SFist:

And speaking of South Bay molesters, the Redwood City trial of psychiatrist William Ayres -- a prominent child psychiatrist who stands accused of molesting several of his male patients, not to be confused with Bill Ayres -- is winding down, and conviction seems pretty damn likely. While defense attorneys argued that no one can clearly remember things that happened to them when they were ten years old, prosecutors kept it simple. As ABC 7 reports, "[The prosecutor] began her closing arguments by asking the jurors why, if Ayres' physical exams were medically appropriate as he claims, he did not discuss them with the boys' parents, why he only examined boys and not girls, and why he didn't use gloves during the exams." Also, uh, why was a psychiatrist performing these "medically appropriate" genital exams at all? Yeah, that pretty much clinches it. For more details on Ayres hand-grabby therapeutic methods, see this Mercury News piece here.

Link to the original article HERE

" I Am Taking Responsibility For My Life. I Think Dr. Ayres Should Take Responsibilty For His Life"

" I am taking responsibility for my life. I think Dr. Ayres should take responsibility for his life."

-- Victim Steve S, an in-statute victim who saw his old predator Dr. Ayres in a holding cell at Maguire Correctional Center just after he was arrested in 2007.

July 14, 2007: Final day of closing arguments.

After a number of days of wearing her old peacock blue blazer, Solveig broke out a new jacket - a bright fire engine red. At 8:45 am, for some bizarre reason, she staked out a position in the middle of the hall on the second floor as if she were a restaurant hostess. She greeted the mother of victim Steve S as she passed by with a wave and a hello. We think this is just an intimidation tactic taken from her husband's playbook. (Remember when he greeted the mother of Steve Abrams with "Isn't it a lovely day?") When Victoria Balfour passed her by, Solveig said nothing but just looked at her with a smile that was attempting to be defiant but just looked sad. Neither Solveig nor Ayres has ever said anything to Balfour during this trial.

Court started a few minutes late because Weinberg was stuck in traffic. In the end it started at 9:13 am.

Unlike yesterday, when there were about 15 supporters of Ayres in attendance, today there was only an elderly gent with thinning hair; the two plump biker chicks - who continued to work at their crossword puzzle through both Weinberg's arguments and the prosecutor's rebuttal (why on earth were they there, if they weren't interested in what was going on? we wondered) and Creepy Guy in a striped shirt with Choking Girl. Creepy Guy had something in his right ear that was either an earplug or cotton. For much of the prosecutor's rebuttal he donned very thick heavy shades that looked like protective glasses. Was this a case of see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, blocking out reality? We did notice that when Weinberg spoke, he took off his dark shades and resumed his old vigorous head nodding that made him appear as if he were in a tent revival meeting.

An older couple was sitting on the victims' supporters side. This was their second day in the courtroom. The older woman was reading a religious pamphlet. Although they were quite circumspect, after chatting with them, we gleaned that they knew an out of statute victim who was not asked to testify. The older man said that there was some disagreement within his family as to whether Ayres was guilty, but the more we talked with them, it appeared that the older woman was on the side of the supporters and at a break she complained to us that Weinberg contradicted himself.

Although we are not Scientologists and never will be, we welcomed a nice Asian man who has been blogging about the Ayres case on www.siliconvalleyrights. com. He told us he didn't dislike all psychiatrists - "only abusive ones" Hey, we're on board with him! He was a nice guy and we appreciate that he came.

All right, to Weinberg's closing arguments. Weinberg -sadly but predictably immediately started to trash the victims.

On Eric B, Weinberg said indignantly, " This should be a question: For 17 years after he said he was molested he never said anything.... He's had three different versions about what happened. ( Weinberg didn't mention that Eric B ultimately said he was masturbated only once, instead of twice, thereby downsizing his damning testimony)He said, "Is Eric lying about this? This is a serious question. His testimony is based on inconsistencies. His credibility is absolutely zero."

As Weinberg trashed poor Eric, we noticed that not a single juror was taking notes. Then Weinberg went on to somehow imply that because Eric was molested by a notorious child molester named Ken Casey( who is now serving time in state prison) that somehow this means that he couldn't have been molested by Ayres. At least we think that's what his argument was about.. it was too confusing for us to grasp the gist.

Then on to Steven S: Just before he lit into Steve S, Weinberg - as he did before he trashed every victim- took a long sip of water or coffee from a cup. We wonder whether it was laced with booze.

Weinberg then launched into the tried and true defense attorney tactic of stating some information that makes the person look bad, and then saying "But that's not the issue." In other words, get it all out there and then pretend that he's not taking responsibility for saying the bad stuff."

As in "Steve's mom told him he was taking him to Ayres because of his violence. But that's not the issue."

"Steve S. has been outside the law. But that's not the issue."

"Steve S pushed a kid off a swing and knocked him unconscious. He doesn't remember this."

Accordingly, Weinberg somehow made the leap because he didn't remember the incident on the swing that Steve S "was creating a fantasy, a fabrication. When Steve S said that Ayres took him into a room and fondled him, you know that's not true."

At this point, we looked over at Creepy Guy and he was nodding his head like a Bobble Head.

Weinberg went on to say with more indignation that because Steve had thought Ayres had molested him when he was 8 instead of age 10 that this was more indication that he could not be trusted.

But the low point was when he attacked poor Steve for finding the courage to come forward at a group home in Petaluma when he was 15 to say he had been molested by Ayres. Weinberg said that Steve S only did that "for sympathy. Everyone was forcing themselves on poor Steve the victim." You could just sense the rage in the parents of the victims in the courtroom as he was saying this, though Steve S's mom remarkably kept her cool. If it were us, we would have stood up and screamed. Especially when Weinberg called Steve S "enormously dishonest, violent and an extremely troubled man.

Then it was on to victim Orion, who was trashed just as bad. Orion broke down in tears many times on the witness stand which Weinberg cavalierly dismissed as a "Dramatic moment, if you will, in court."

Weinberg went on to say that it made no sense for Ayres to molest Orion on the very first visit. Our thought is, Why not? He tried on the first time with other out of statute victims. Weinberg mocked Orion for testifying that Ayres said "This is our little secret" (Actually this is a classic pedophile line) and "Remember the drill." ( Actually we know of a 55 year old out of statute victim who recalls Ayres saying the very same thing to him. During the eight or so times that victim was asked to take off his clothes, Ayres would tell that victim, "You know the drill.")

It got worse. Weinberg said of Orion:"It was an impressive performance. I grant you that. Orion substitutes drama for logic, truth and information. The doctor was in love with Orion? He said,"Did you miss me? ' ( We believe that the doctor was in love with Orion.)

So, as for Eric B, Steve S, and Orion, Weinberg dismissed their stories as having "inconsistencies, improbabilities and outright fabrications."

The Weinberg proceeded to blurt out Steve' S's full name and the full name of Scott E's mother. When one courtroom observer angrily shook her head, the very attentive female juror with the very blue eyes watched her carefully. We think this may be a good sign.

As for the four out -of-statute victims, Weinberg didn't spend all that much time on them. He criticized Peter V for not talking about the molestation for 22 years. He said that Dana P said that when Ayres told him about a female vagina it wasn't something he already didn't know(What's that got to do with whether or not Ayres molested him, we wanted to know.)

Weinberg blasted victim Thomas C. as a "very angry young man" who was adopted and jealous of his biological brother. Again, we ask what on earth has that got to do with the fact that Ayres molested him?

His argument for dismissing Greg H. was the lamest as all. He said that he didn't know why Greg got the physical exam but because there was a legitimate medical reason for every other boy's physical, the same must hold true for Greg.

By this point, burly guy juror in the front was listening with arms crossed. Meanwhile, the parents of the victims in the courtroom were about to explode with rage. But they kept their cool.

As Weinberg wrapped up, he used that old lawyer's trick by dropping his voice so that people would have to strain to listen to him.

He was done by 10:25 am. It appeared to us that Robert Ayres- whose eyes were very red- might have been crying. He looked very sad.

Then it was the prosecutor's turn. And she let it rip. Her folksy energetic voice woke everyone up after Weinberg's droning.

We liked that she started right in by mentioning that on the previous day Weinberg had mentioned "the Salem Witch Trials," "People kidnapped by Aliens" and the McMartin Preschool case. Only the prosecutor kept calling it the "Martin " School case but that was OK.

McKowan just made a ton of sense. She asked why on earth any of the victims would come forward and tell a roomful of strangers that Ayres had molested them - to no benefit to themselves. Sure, Orion may be dramatic, she said, but he's not filing a lawsuit and has nothing to gain by coming forward."This is not a fun experience for the victims," she said.

At this point Weinberg's face turned lobster red. It was redder than Solveig's jacket. It stayed this way until the very end of the prosecutor's rebuttal. When he then proceeded to puff out his lips, a mother of a victim made the astute observation that he looked like a fish.

The most powerful moment of the rebuttal came when she spoke about Steve S. She talked about how Steve S talked about his abuse in the group home because he felt safe there. Then she talked about how he messed up when he got out - how he said he "blew it. I pissed it all away."

When the prosecutor reminded the jury that Steve said he wanted to testify because he wanted to take responsibility for his life and that he felt that "Ayres should take responsibility for his life" many of the parents of victims in the courtroom were in tears. Steve' mom could not resist: she gave a thumb's up for her son in absentia.

And Steve S's mom, we are happy to report got the last word of the day. After the jury left to deliberate at 11:30 am, Steve S' s mom expressed anger to supporters of the victims that Weinberg had blurted out her son's surname. So, as Weinberg left the court and was heading for his car, Steve S's mom walked up to Weinberg and told him off. "I am angry that you said my son's full name," she said.

"I know you are," Weinberg said. But he did not apologize.

"Everything we said in court was the truth," she said to Weinberg as he scuttled away.

"That's how you feel," said the defense attorney.

We want to thank Steve S's mom for having the guts to tell it like it is.