Top Child Psychiatrist Thrown Back In Jail
As media coverage grows on the case against William Ayres, so does the number of victims stepping forward. Ayres, former President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), is accused of molesting at least 37 male patients under the age of 14. As a result of four new charges filed Thursday, involving two additional victims, a San Mateo County Superior Court judge tripled Ayres' bail to $750,000, and he was taken back to jail. Prosecutor Melissa McKowan said next week she expects to add more charges, bringing the total to nine cases that are prosecutable within the statute of limitations.
The molestation allegations date back to 1969, and according to the Los Angeles Times, Ayres stood in front of his colleagues at a Bay Area conference a quarter of a century ago and recommended that psychiatrists conduct intimate “physical examinations” of their adolescent patients to “assess their sexual development”—including the development of pubic hair. Ayres’ psychiatrist peers were evidently not disturbed by his suggestion, and he was elected to the position of President of AACAP from 1993 to 1995, and was even awarded with a lifetime achievement award in 2002 by the San Mateo board of supervisors for "his tireless effort to improve the lives of children and adolescents."
Prosecutor McKowan said Ayres is typical of “very, very smart” pedophiles who victimize young children from a position of power. "The fact that we have so many victims is what gives us corroboration. That's what gives us a provable case,” she said.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a psychiatric watchdog, decries the fact that mental health practitioners, entrusted with the care of the most vulnerable members of society, commit such egregious crimes. A 2001 U.S. study of therapist-client sex found that one out of 20 clients who had been sexually abused by their therapist was a minor. The female victims’ ages ranged from 3 to 17, and from 7 to 16 for the males. The average age was 7 for girls and 12 for boys.
Scores of such cases from all over the world can be accessed on CCHR’s PsychCrime database at www.psychcrime.org.
Psychiatrists and psychologists who molest their patients frequently escape criminal prosecution because the cases are handled by licensing boards, which treat it as “professional misconduct.” Laws exist in more than 20 states making therapist sexual exploitation a crime, though this should be otherwise prosecutable as sexual assault or rape. CCHR applauds the courage of the victims in the Ayres case for coming forward in the name of justice.
Help educate others on psychiatric criminality by purchasing CCHR's in-depth report, Psychiatric Rape: Assaulting Women and Children, for just $6. Call CCHR International at 800-869-2247 to purchase.