Dr. Williams Ayres, Alleged Sex Offender - Another Lawsuit Filed Against him
Another lawsuit targets Ayres
With criminal statute of limitations passed, plaintiff seeks civil damages
By Michael Manekin, STAFF WRITER
Inside Bay Area
December 11, 2007
REDWOOD CITY — Dr. William Ayres, the prominent child psychiatrist awaiting trial on allegations that he molested seven pre-adolescent patients, has been slapped with a civil suit by another alleged victim.
The lawsuit, which does not cite Ayres by name, alleges that a 42-year-old man was molested by a child psychiatrist with a San Mateo practice when he was 10 years old.
That psychiatrist, identified in the suit as John Doe 1, is none other than Ayres, plaintiff's attorney David Drivon recently confirmed.
Under state law, when alleged victims of child sexual abuse file suit, they must use a fictitious name for themselves and those they are suing, Drivon said.
The alleged victim, identified in court documents as Manuel Doe, was "improperly touched" by Doe 1 and has since suffered "internalized shame, guilt, self-blame" and other complexes which have led to "loss of self-esteem, disgrace, humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life," according to the lawsuit.
However, Manuel Doe — who now lives in the Sacramento area, according to Drivon — is not one of the alleged victims cited by prosecutors in the criminal case against Ayres.
Prosecutors have been forced to build their criminal casearound patients who were allegedly abused by Ayres within the past two decades, due to the legal statute of limitations for child molestation cases.
The case of Manuel Doe, who was allegedly abused during the 1970s, is too old for prosecutors to cite in a criminal case.
However, like several dozen men whom county prosecutors allege were abused by the child psychiatrist over a period of decades, he is eligible to file a civil suit against Ayres.
Manuel Doe isn't just suing Ayres, Drivon said. He's also suing a "business entity" that employed the child psychiatrist in the city of San Mateo. The business, identified as John Doe II, is charged with failing to supervise Doe I or warn the alleged victim of the child psychiatrist's "dangerous propensities."
Additionally, the suit cites an unspecified number of individuals or organizations, identified as Does 3 through 300, who may be "liable in some manner" for the actions of Doe I.
Drivon did not confirm whether the "business entity" that employed Doe I is Peninsula Psychiatric Associates, the group practice where Ayres worked for years. He also declined to say whether any of the Does who may be liable are connected with the county's juvenile justice system, which sent Ayres thousands of youths in need of psychiatric evaluation.
The child psychiatrist's role as a "counselor and authority figure" enabled him to "assert control and influence" over Manuel Doe, according to the lawsuit.
"In his capacity as a psychiatric professional and by his words and actions, (Doe I) assured (Manuel Doe) that (his) conduct was proper," the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit, filed in October, has not yet been served. Calls to Ayres' criminal defense attorney, Doron Weinberg, were not returned before press time. Neither were calls made to Donald Putterman, the attorney who represented Ayres in a 2003 civil suit alleging that the child psychiatrist molested a former patient.
The 2003 suit was settled outside of court for an undisclosed amount in 2005. The recent action filed by Manuel Doe, seeking unspecified damages, is the first known civil suit to be filed against Ayres since his arrest earlier this year.
In the criminal case, Ayres is expected to appear in the Hall of Justice on Dec. 17, where his defense attorney is scheduled to argue a motion that law enforcement violated the client-psychotherapist privilege by issuing a search warrant for Ayres' patient files.
Those files provided the basis of the criminal case against Ayres, according to prosecutors.
Ayres remains out of custody on $750,000 cash bail.
Staff writer Michael Manekin can be reached at 650-348-4331 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.