Ayres’ alleged victims vexed at trial’s delay

The alleged victims of former child psychiatrist and accused molester William Ayres, whose jury trial was postponed after it was revealed he is recovering from prostate cancer treatments, expressed frustration Tuesday with the delay.

“I suspect this is a ploy on his part to buy time and gain sympathy. I’m afraid he’ll delay it for so long, or somehow get a pass because he’s old and sick, that he’s going to avoid responsibility for what he’s done,” said 44-year-old Steve Abrams, who claims he was molested by Ayres at the age of 12 and whose civil suit against him was settled out of court in 2005.

On Monday, Judge Clifford Cretan continued Ayres’ March 10 jury trial to June 23. In a letter filed with the court, Ayres’ urologist, Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, said an Aug. 14 biopsy revealed Ayres had moderately aggressive prostate cancer. Ayres, the former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is facing 20 counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14.

Ayres completed hormone and radiation therapy before doctors implanted radioactive seeds into his prostate on Jan. 22 — the final treatment to eradicate the cancer, according to the letter.

“Fortunately, I believe that not only will Dr. Ayres’ symptoms eventually dissipate, but his prostate cancer has been adequately and aggressively treated,” Rosenberg wrote.

The doctor’s statement also detailed an extensive medical history — including high blood pressure and an aortic aneurysm — that made some of Ayres’ alleged victims worry they would never see their day in court.

“They fear never being heard. They fear never being able to put this behind them and move on,” said Deputy District Attorney Melissa McKowan, who added that she believes the trial will successfully go forward.

“They are counting the days until their opportunity to hold him accountable for what he did to them,” McKowan said.

Abrams, who lives in Los Angeles, said he is one of the alleged victims anticipating the day his alleged former abuser will answer to the charges in court.

“This guy has a four-decade history. It’s pretty horrible the stuff he was doing under the guise of medical examinations. It’s really sick to watch how money can buy you justice,” he said.

San Mateo police arrested Ayres in April 2007 after a four-year investigation. The charges involve seven former patients between 1991-96. More than 30 other men have come forward, but their cases fall beyond the statute of limitations, prosecutors said.

tbarak@examiner.com

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