William Ayres deemed competent to stand trial

The lengthy legal saga of a San Mateo psychiatrist is set to continue after a judge Wednesday found him competent to stand trial.

William Ayres, 80, was arrested in 2007 and was charged with molesting seven youths, ages 8 to 13, during counseling sessions between 1991 and 1996. The past president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was also accused of molesting more than 30 others on occasions that are now beyond the statute of limitations.

His first trial in 2009 ended in a hung jury after one juror opposed a conviction on four of nine counts. Last year, attorneys on both sides agreed Ayres was experiencing symptoms of dementia and he spent nine months at Napa State Hospital.

Then, a new report from hospital doctors revealed Ayres is competent to stand trial. He was accused by prosecutors of using his extensive medical knowledge to fake his illness.

On Wednesday, the judge set Ayres’ bail at $900,000. He is being held in County Jail.

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