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POLL: Should the County Continue to Prosecute William Ayres?

Ayres, a former child psychologist in San Mateo, has been accused of molesting his patients.

It's been more than five years since William Ayres, a once-prominent child psychiatrist in San Mateo, was first arrested and charged in San Mateo County Superior Court with molesting patients in the 1980s and 1990s.

Ayres, now 80, was first arrested in 2007 and charged with 10 counts of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child under 14 for allegedly molesting six boys between ages 9 and 13 from 1988 to 1996.

His trial ended with a hung jury in 2009, but prosecutors decided that August to retry the case. 

The criminal proceedings were suspended, however, when Ayres' attorney questioned his client's competency due to his onset of dementia.

A jury trial to determine Ayres' competency was declared a mistrial when jurors deadlocked 8 to 4, with the majority deciding that Ayres' deteriorating mental condition would make him unfit to stand trial.

But following that mistrial, the district attorney's office conceded Ayres would not be mentally fit to aid in his own defense.

A judge in 2011 ordered him to be placed in a mental hospital, and he was sent to Napa State Hospital where he was to spend six months before his competency could potentially be declared restored.

Even prosecutors said it was unlikely that would happen, but said they would retry the case if it did.

And, in May, doctors at Napa State Hospital did find Ayres to be competent, and criminal charges against Ayres have been reinstated.

Ayres is scheduled to appear in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City on Aug. 3 at 8:45 a.m.

Ayres earned his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1956 and was president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from 1993 to 1995. He moved to the Bay Area with his wife in 1963.

Do you think Ayres should continue to be prosecuted, or do you think his deteriorating mental state makes him unable to stand trial on the charges?

Vanessa Castañeda August 15, 2012 at 12:46 AM
They might have to admit a mistake was made.
skip August 25, 2012 at 03:51 PM
They can strip a crown from Miss America for conduct unbecoming. And that is a VERY public award/contest. Anyone in authority of a particular award should have the power to rescind awards, once the guilt has been proven in court! but for something like this, rescinding of award probably will not happen until after proven guilty. (for better or for worse, the legal system says innocent until proven guilty..., so.. otherwise the rescinder may face suits by the rescindee, in this litigous society). Lifetime Achievement Award for what? if a felon was convicted of a heinous crime, you want to celebrate that and have your organization's name attached to it? I think not. So when/if Ayers is convicted, the balls can start rolling. and it doesn't hurt for people to start planting ideas, so that such action can be swift when/if the conviction occurrs.
Michael G. Stogner August 25, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Len, I appreciate your comments about the Lifetime Achievement Award not being able to be rescinded until a conviction, and in most cases I would agree with you 100%. I have made my request based on my personal knowledge of this case over 50 alleged victims have come forward and Jerry Brown the Attorney General assisted in removing his MD License. I think the Board of Supervisors could act now and be ok they have never been afraid of being sued before...example District vs. At-Large elections.
Alison August 29, 2012 at 05:33 PM
To Len: One does not have to wait for a conviction to strip an award. In November 2011, immediately after Sandusky was arrested, two Pennsylvania Senators rescinded their nomination of him for a Presidential Medal of Freedom Award. Sandusky wasn't convicted until seven months later. ( note that it took seven months to convict a much better known predator than Ayres) November 10, 2011, 5:24 PM Medal Nomination Rescinded for Paterno By ASHLEY SOUTHALL The sexual abuse scandal that got Joe Paterno fired from Penn State has now cost him a chance to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The two Pennsylvania senators who nominated Mr. Paterno to receive the medal, the highest civilian award given by the White House, withdrew their support on Thursday in a joint statement, citing the abuse case as the reason. Patrick J. Toomey, a Republican, and Bob Casey, a Democrat, rescinded the nomination and urged law enforcement officials to “move forward with their investigation without delay.” _______ Additionally, Jerry Hill told a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle in 2007 that they could "reverse" the award given to Ayres "at any time."
Mary MacDonald January 24, 2013 at 04:24 PM
San Mateo county does not want this man to be found guilty because if he is found guilty that makes them guilty too. Remember the courts ordered young boy to be seen by Ayres. Can you say lawsuit!

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