Thursday, May 16, 2013

Guilty Guilty Guilty Guilty Guilty Guilty Guilty Guilty

Today, May 16, 2013, william hamilton ayres, past president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, has plead "No Contest" to 8 felony counts of child molestation. -- Section 288(a) of the California penal code. ayres also accepted the "Special Allegations of Substantial Sexual Contact" related to those charges.

The Judge has accepted ayres' plea, and found him to be:
GUILTY on all 8 charges.

I'm seeing some questions about the difference between a "guilty" plea and a "no contest" plea. There is a pretty good explanation here. In essence it is admitting that the facts as charged are true and correct; that the prosecution will gain conviction beyond reasonable doubt, but without admitting culpability. This is very frequently used when there may be follow-on lawsuits -- this way, there is no "admission of guilt" to be used against the defendant, which would make burden of proof much easier for a suing plaintiff. The plea also allows for later appeals. (See comments below.) Rest assured however, that this plea means that ayres has of his own free will admitted that ALL of he charges against him will with certainty end in conviction. For the court's purpose, the finding for a "no contest" plea is "guilty."

ayres was NOT remanded into custody, and is out on bail until his sentencing hearing on August 6, 2013.

Defense has asked for a maximum of 8 years, but with regard to the plea, there are no conditions on sentencing (This was not a plea bargain... it is simply a change from "Not Guilty" to "No Contest".) Maximum allowable sentence is 22 years with genetic marker recording and lifetime sex offender registration. The DA will have opportunity to recommend a sentence after they receive the probation report, but ultimately the judge will set the duration, and it seems like 8 years would be close to the minimum, given 8 charges with special circumstances. All of the articles are saying that ayres WILL serve time.

According to some of the papers, DA Wagstaffe has said that at least in part, what they will be pushing for in terms of sentencing will at least in part have to do with ayres' attitude about the crimes: contrition and admission of guilt may reduce the sentence they are asking for, and the opposite may cause them to ask for more time. The reason for the delay until sentencing is to allow for a probation report that will allow them to better understand ayres attitude about the crimes, among other things...

Judge Freeman will schedule half a day for the sentencing hearing, but has said that she would go as long as necessary to hear all victim statements from those legally allowed and who desire to speak during sentencing.

ayres was in court with his wife Solveig and daughter Barbara.

Courtroom reactions were FLAT and dead silent all around.

ayres' voice wavered only when he had to tell the judge that he was waiving his constitutional rights to speedy trial, and to confront the witnesses against him.

The Defense has maintained their right to appeal, but on at least the matter of the "competency" issue, according to the San Mateo Daily Journal, the appellate court declined to hear the matter late this morning, resulting in the decision to plead no contest.

After the hearing, ayres' sow daughter Barbara went over to pat the child molester lovingly on the back.

Articles so far are here:

San Mateo Daily Journal (pdf)- Probably the best detail of the bunch.

SF Gate (Chronicle) (pdf)

Michael Stogner's Blog on the Pacifica Patch

Victim's advocate William Lynch posted a note from victim's advocate Victoria Balfour on the facebook page for his RISE Foundation website.

Daily Post (Paper Only, but here's a lovely photo of it.)

SF Examiner (pdf)

Merc News (pdf)

Some Thoughts:

DA Wagstaffe has told the press that prosecutors won because they had an airtight case, and that they had better evidence this time around, and that one of the county’s best prosecutors was on the case. (There were three prosecutors this time around.)

I will take this opportunity to applaud and thank the prosecutors for bringing enough pressure to bear that when ayres’ competency gambit had all spooled out, the defense knew that they would not survive a trial given the witnesses that the prosecution was lining up.

That pressure was brought to bear was no easy feat. So I’d also like to also take the opportunity to thank Victoria Balfour who has persisted in keeping feet to the fire through the many years that this case has been running. To wit:

ayres has long been friends and co-board members with judges, prosecutors and politicians though his decades of involvement with the juvenile system. Even if we set aside accusations of conflict of interest, the fact remains that these people were prosecuting a friend and colleague.

It was Balfour who pushed the police to investigate more when she discovered that the man who molested a friend of hers was still practicing “psychiatry.”

It was Balfour who pushed families and friends of victims to hire private investigators to trail ayres when he was claiming to be incompetent – while the DA believed the story that ayres was suffering dementia.

It was Balfour who urged families of victims to contact the County Board of Supervisors to bring pressure to bear on the DA to make him understand that great and relevant witnesses would be needed to secure victory – and that victory was something strongly desired. Victoria pushed many of us on --when we wanted to give up hope.

And it was Balfour who realized that ayres’ statement in the first trial that he had been trained by “Al Songden” -- who does not exist – was a significant piece of information. She interviewed dozens of doctors at the places ayres trained, and not only did all of them state that they don’t train psychiatrists to give “medical exams,” but they also told her that the doctor to whom ayres was referring was Dr. Al Solnit” – information that the prosecutors were able to put to good use when finding witnesses for the second trial – witnesses who would be able to expose ayres’ lies about his training – witnesses who were critical to the prosecution’s “airtight” case and “better evidence.”.

So I’m glad that the DA’s office persisted in spite of the fact that they were prosecuting a long time colleague, and I thank Victoria Balfour for frequently pushing when frequent pushing was needed.

That is all.

Comments are now open.


  1. Hopefully Ayres will receive a life sentence just like he has imposed, by his vile treatment, on the life and psyche of God knows how many victims.

  2. Prayers for all of the victims of Ayres who committed suicide, or who died in accidents. And prayers for those who were murdered.

  3. Maybe he'll meet up with one of his old victims on the inside.

  4. I am gld for the accusers. Hopefully now he'll fully account for those vics that were not accusers here. Otherwise for me it is a hollow feeling.

    What now for the high placed scum who had to know he was guilty & ran interference and supported him? I hope there can be some criminal, civil or at least social penalty imposed on them.

  5. Wonder what's going on in Etta Bryant M.D's head tonight?

    1. Same thing that always goes on... Nothing.

  6. YAY! Finalllly JUSTICE PREVAILS! Great job deserve all the stuck w/it and got it done. Blue ribbons and gold stars are awarded to you from all of us for all the time & effort...disappointment after finalllly WON! And now true JUSTICE WILL BE DONE. GREAT! I/we salute you Victoria! Ayres will now go to where he belongs! Time for him to suffer for all the lives he's ruined...nothing will fix that but at least he'll feel some suffering! Whew...what a L O N G strange trip it's been! Super congrads..the most amazing 'stick with it' person I've ever know in my 68 years on this strange planet! YAY!!!!. joe-L Silver from Salem/Boston to Cocoa Beach Fla. for the last 42 years! Experienced Ayres in Boston long ago and long time he 'worked' in San Mateo.

  7. San Francisco Chronicle
    Updated 4:33 pm, Thursday, May 16, 2013

    Ayres pleads no contest to molestations, by Henry K. Lee

    1. Now time to uncover Child Protection Agency corruption. Judge Marta Diaz deserves investigative attention. Thank you Victoria Balfour for your unshakable persistence in having justice being served to victims.My deepest sympathy is felt for the victims. I hope strength heals the harm. Shame on Wagstaff and the rest of his office for attempting to take credit for no-contest plea. Also approving all the tax payer money wasted over the years was worth it? What?

  8. Say a prayer for all of the victims who gave up hope about ever seeing this day and are not here today to witness this.

    Too many victims committed suicide during the six years between the time that Ayres was arrested and his plea yesterday.

    One of them ran headlong into traffic on a freeway in Los Angeles in August 2011 and was killed instantly. This was just before the DA refused to consider the evidence of a private investigator hired by families that Ayres was competent to stand trial.

    Another victim who had come forward in 2004, before Ayres was arrested, finally gave up hope that he would ever be convicted and died in February 2011 at age 44.

    There are many more like these men out there, with tragic endings. They might still be alive today had the DA's office gotten its act together sooner and only did so because of enormous public pressure.

  9. Ayres deserves no sympathy. He abused children, ruined many people's lives, and exploited & played the legal system to delay the reckoning for as long as his money and legal maneuvering could take him. I would like to see him rot in jail and not see daylight 'til he dies, excepting only if he owns up to everything he did and begs forgiveness.

  10. Why is he allowed to be free until August 6?

    We all know he hooked up with an ex-con at Napa State and tried to "groom" a disabled man to be a victim. San Mateo County is once again coddling him... Watch for Ayres to come up with a new medical or dementia excuse before August 6

    Investigator Nate: keep your eyes peeled for Ayres in the next two and a half months. If you see him lurking around kids at Golden Gate Park or at swimming pools in San Mateo - anywhere where there are kids, let us know!!!

  11. Remember the juveniles Ayres assaulted, violently, who are now serving long or life terms in prison.

    Many of them don't even know Ayres has been arrested.

    They are the forgotten victims.

  12. A comment over at the Almanac News forum:

    Posted by Awards, a resident of another community, 3 minutes ago

    The reason this plea was entered has nothing to do with Melissa McKowan, Steve Wagstaffe, Karen Guidotti, or the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, but everything to do with the tenacity of victims' advocate Vicky Balfour.

    She should not have had to fight Wagstaffe to get him to take this prosecution seriously, but she did.

    She should not of had to have endured being ejected from a court room by McKowan and Wagstaffe when she traveled here at her own expense to help victims, but she did.

    The Almanac should do an in-depth piece on how Balfour had to fight for these victims' rights, and how Wagstaffe tried to stand in the way of justice proceeding, instead of assisting with it.

    In addition to rescinding Ayres' award, the board should censure Wagstaffe and commend Balfour in public.

  13. Thank you Victoria Balfour. Shame on county DA for tying to take any credit for justice being served. Mr. Wagstaff, for your information, there are many more predators, as William Ayres, working for this county harming families and their children. Investigate the complaints sooner than later, like the ones made already.

  14. What's with Wagstaffe's obsession with money? On Thursday, he told the Daily Journal, "It was a remarkably expensive run." Huh? Maybe if Wagstaffe had actually sat in on the Ayres trial and advised the prosecutor as he has done with other prosecutors on countless of his precious murder cases, the trial wouldn't have been so expensive. And maybe if management had actually put some work into the competency retrial in 2011, they could have won and gotten on with the retrial.

    Here's Wagstaffe talking about the cost of a retrial back in 2011, after his bungling office lost the competency trial.

    From September 8, 2011, Ayres Committed to Hospital

    "District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said after the stipulation that another trial would cost taxpayers money and not necessarily return a different outcome."

  15. Deep Sounding:

    You need to give credit to San Mateo Supervisor Dave Pine. He is the ONLY Supervisor who has met with or spoke to victims' families since 2011. He is the ONLY one who has hounded Wagstaffe for the last two years about his concerns about the misconduct by prosecutor Mckowan.

    It was Pine who put the pressure on Wagstaffe after Mckowan was disciplined by the Bar. When Wagstaffe was not inclined to do anything, Pine kept the pressure on. There was a closed meeting between the Supervisors and Wagstaffe, where the Supervisors expressed their concern about Mckowan, the Bar discipline, and her failures on the case.

    It was because of Pine that Wagstaffe finally caved to pressure and put on two other prosecutors on the case.

    Thank you, many times over, Dave Pine!

  16. San Mateo DA Steve Wagstaffe who has been a target of the FBI for two years now ( and yes, it's true that he is a target) is TERRIFIED of all of the former juveniles his office put away in prison who are now going to come forward with horrific tales of what Ayres did to them. That's why Wagstaffe is yammering about how much this case cost. It's because he knows how much a conviction is going to cost his corrupt little office.

    Wagstaffe had a hand in MANY cases where the juveniles were sexually assaulted by Ayres. You think he doesn't know that ?

    In one high profile case where a young juvenile who was tried as an adult for murder, a prosecutor who then became a judge who made decisions in the Ayres case and the boy's criminal attorney, agreed to send the boy to Ayres.

    The boy saw Ayres six times. On the first visit, Ayres grilled him with his usual sicko perverted questions about sexual practices. Ayres told the boy he had to answer them, as Ayres "was the only friend " the boy had in the world.

    During the third session, the boy noticed Ayres making some strange movements behind his coat on his lap. When the boy moved to another chair, he saw that Ayres had exposed himself and was masturbating. When the boy said he was going to tell, Ayres said, "Who's going to believe you? I am a respected doctor in this county. No one will believe you. If you tell, I will make sure you are locked up for the rest of your life."

    In the fourth session, Ayres showed the boy child porn, photos of very young boys engaged in sexual acts with adults.

    In the fifth session, Ayres pressured the boy to engage in sodomy with him. The boy refused.

    The boy got life without parole.

    Steve Wagstaffe: what say you? How would you like to be a juvenile who was pressured to engage in sodomy with the big fat Ayres?

    Solveig Ayres: How can you live with yourself, living with a sick pedophile?

  17. Ayres raped boys. Why didn't the DA insist that he go straight to jail? Is it because they sent boys to Ayres themselves? Any other Joe Blow would have gone straight to jail.

    Steve Wagstaffe is going down. Mark. My. Words.