Former Child Psychiatrist Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A former child psychiatrist in San Mateo who pleaded no contest to molesting boys during exams in the 1990s was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday.

    William Ayres, 81, sat shackled at the waist in a wheelchair as nearly a dozen people read victim impact statements in San Mateo County Superior court.

    One victim told Ayres in court: “You’re disgusting. What you did is horrible,” before adding, “the most horrible part of what you did is use your status to prey on children.”

    Ayres’ attorney, Jonathan McDougal, tried to have the proceedings suspended on the grounds that his client is mentally incompetent, but a judge rule against it.

    Ayres treated child patients from the 1960s to 2006, according to the district attorney's office. He was also called upon to evaluate hundreds of cases, including some involving sex offenders, in San Mateo County juvenile court as far back as the 1970s.

    One of Ayres’ victims is now a psychiatrist who focuses on helping adolescents. When he took the stand he said: "You look like a wolf spider -- you don't even know how many children you caught in your web,” and added, "you are going where all the other wolf spiders go to die."

    Ayres pleaded no contest to eight counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 for allegedly inappropriately touching five boys who had come to him for counseling.

    Prosecutors contend the victims were fondled as part of "medical" examinations conducted during counseling sessions with Ayres between 1991 and 1996. The boys were between the ages of 9 and 13 at the time, according to prosecutors.

    Bay City News contributed to this story