Back to Square One in Ayres Case

Jury could not agree

A San Mateo County Superior Court judge has declared a mistrial in the case of William Ayres, 77, a prominent San Mateo child psychiatrist accused of molesting several young patients in the 1980s and 1990s.
The jury informed the court Monday afternoon it had failed to agree on a verdict on any of the counts against Ayres.

Judge Beth Freeman declared a mistrial shortly before 4 p.m.

Ayres, who was president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from 1993 to 1995, was charged with nine counts of lewd  or lascivious acts on a child under 14. He would have faced up to life in  prison if convicted.

The trial focused largely on physical exams Ayres conducted on his  patients. The alleged victims claimed the doctor groped them, and while Ayres  admitted to performing physical exams in which the boys were naked from the  waist down, he testified that nothing inappropriate happened.

Defense attorney Doron Weinberg argued that the alleged victims' memory of events should be questioned because of the amount of time between  when the alleged crimes took place and when they came forward with their  claims -- years after the alleged molestations took place.

Prosecutor Melissa McKowan, however, said the witnesses' accounts were accurate and credible.

Bay City News

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