Alleged child molester remains free due to hospital overcrowding 

click to enlarge A Napa State Hospital bed for alleged child molester William Ayres won’t be available until Oct. 26. (Examiner file photo) - A NAPA STATE HOSPITAL BED FOR ALLEGED CHILD MOLESTER WILLIAM AYRES WON’T BE AVAILABLE UNTIL OCT. 26. (EXAMINER FILE PHOTO)
  • A Napa State Hospital bed for alleged child molester William Ayres won’t be available until Oct. 26. (Examiner file photo)
  • A Napa State Hospital bed for alleged child molester William Ayres won’t be available until Oct. 26. (Examiner file photo)

A lack of beds has once again delayed alleged child molester William Ayres’ admission into Napa State Hospital, leaving him free on bail for at least three more weeks, San Mateo County’s District Attorney said Monday.

Ayres, 79, the prominent child psychologist accused of molesting patients during physical exams, was supposed to enter the hospital by Thursday.

Last week, prosecutor Melissa McKowen told the San Mateo County Times that the delay was due to missing paperwork. But on Monday, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said the real reason for the delay is hospital overcrowding. “They didn’t have a bed space up there,” Wagstaffe said.

A bed for Ayres won’t be available until Oct. 26, he said. Such delays are common at overcrowded Napa State Hospital, he added.

Wagstaffe offered the example of Alexander Youshock, the mentally ill former Hillsdale High School student who brought ten pipe bombs and other weapons to campus in 2009. Youshock’s hospital admission was delayed by three months, he said.

But Ayres, who is out of custody on $750,000 bail, won’t have to wait in jail until a bed opens up at Napa State Hospital, as Youshock did.

The judge in the case has denied requests by prosecutors to remand Ayres into custody until the hospital is ready for him, Wagstaffe said.

Last month, when he was first ordered to receive care at Napa State Hospital, Ayres was given 30 days before he had to surrender to the facility.

Ayres’ prolonged freedom has frustrated families seeking justice against the one-time president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The families believe Ayres is competent, said Victoria Balfour, their advocate and spokeswoman. A private investigator secretly filmed Ayres talking politics at a San Francisco restaurant only days before his competency hearing, Balfour said.

Ayres was charged four years ago with nine counts of performing lewd acts on seven boys during counseling sessions between 1991 and 1996. He was also accused of molesting more than 30 other victims on dates that are beyond the statute of limitations.

In 2009, his trial ended with a hung jury, with jurors voting 11-1 in favor of conviction on one charge.

Prosecutors hoped to retry Ayres, but that effort was delayed after Ayres’ attorney said his client showed signs of dementia. That led to a trial to determine whether Ayres is mentally fit to stand trial, which ended in a mistrial.

Finally, a retrial of his competency was cut short in August after prosecutors conceded that Ayres is incompetent.

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