Archive for Saturday, April 7, 2007

Psychiatrist accused of molesting boy patients

April 7, 2007

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— A child psychiatrist who once led the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was arrested amid allegations he molested male patients dating back to the 1960s.

Dr. William Ayres, 75, appeared in court Friday on charges that he molested three patients. No plea was entered because his attorney was not at the hearing.

Ayres was taken into custody Thursday at his San Mateo home and charged with 14 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14. Prosecutors said they plan to present evidence that he molested young boys in his care for decades.

He is accused of fondling three boys repeatedly between 1991 and 1996 while they were his patients, according to the complaint. The boys were 9, 11 and 12 at the time and are now in their 20s. The statute of limitations for such crimes is 10 years or until the victim turns 28.

At least 21 victims dating back to 1969 have been identified, but most fall outside the statute of limitations, prosecutor Melissa Mckowan said. Testimony from some of them will be used at trial to show a pattern of behavior, she said.

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