Friday, April 06, 2007

Case of William Ayres, MD - Child Psychiatrist, San Mateo, CA


In 2002 a victim reported to the San Mateo Police Department that while being treated as a patient of Dr. William Ayres in the 1970’s, he was sexually assaulted on multiple occasions by the doctor. Dr. Ayres is a well known San Mateo County child psychiatrist, who had a thriving practice treating children patients from the 1960s through 2006.

San Mateo Investigators were assigned to the case and began the investigation. While investigating the case against Dr. Ayres, the US Supreme Court Case of Stogner v. California (539 U.S. 607) was decided and the victim’s case was determined to be outside the newly established statue of limitations for criminal prosecution.

The victim pursued a civil case against Dr. Ayres which resulted in numerous other victims’ coming forward to report that they were sexually assaulted by Dr. Ayres while being treated under his care. Those multiple complaints of sexual assault occurred in the late 1960’s, 1970’s and early 1980’s, all falling outside of the newly established statute of limitations.

Based on the belief that these assaults took place over a prolonged period of time and were likely to have continued with other victims who would fall within the new statute of limitations, the San Mateo Police Department obtained a search warrant that allowed us to seize all of the doctors records for all those fitting the criteria of the victims already known that would fall within the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution.

On March 10, 2006, San Mateo Detectives executed a search warrant at Dr. Ayres residence and storage locker. Numerous patient records were seized and booked into property. The Superior Court assigned a Special Master to review each case file and determine if the patient fit that criteria, and was treated within the criminal statute of limitations.

Over 800 names were turned over to investigating officers from the San Mateo Police
Department working in conjunction with the California Department of Justice Bureau of Investigations, San Francisco office. For the past year investigators have been tracking down former patients to determine if they were victimized by Dr. Ayres. The investigation revealed both victims who fell within the statute of limitations and victims who were outside of the statute of limitations.

The evidence collected was presented to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, who after a thorough review, decided to file a complaint with numerous charges against Dr. Ayers.

On 4-5-07 the complaint was reviewed by a Superior Court Judge and a 1.5 million dollar warrant was issued for the arrest of Dr. William Ayres charging him with fourteen (14) counts of 288(A) with Special Allegations. (Lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14).

On 4-5-07 Detectives contacted Dr. Ayres at his residence and took him into custody at approximately 6PM without incident. He was booked into the County Jail and will be awaiting arraignment.

This case remains under investigation as Detectives from the San Mateo Police Department and the Department of Justice Criminal Investigations Bureau San Francisco Office continue to determine if there were other children victimized.
We are encouraging any one with information on this case, or any other victims to contact Captain Mike Callagy at the San Mateo Police Department. (650) 522-7652

This case highlights the fact that even the trusted adults in your child’s lives can perpetrate crimes against children. We encourage all parents to keep open lines of communication with their children to ensure their safety and security.

For any additional press information, please call Captain Mike Callagy at (650) 522-7652


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