Former psychiatrist convicted of child molestation dies in prison hospice


By James Lanaras | Bay City News Service

Former San Mateo psychiatrist and convicted child molester William Ayres died last month in a hospice at California Medical Facility, a state prison medical center in Vacaville, according to the Solano County coroner's office.

Dr. Ayres, 84, was pronounced dead of natural causes at 12:38 a.m. on April 20, a coroner's office spokeswoman said. He was under a doctor's care, was not brought to the coroner's office and there was no autopsy, the spokeswoman said.

A former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, he was sentenced to eight years in prison in August 2013 for molesting five boys who came to him for counseling in the 1990s. He pleaded no contest in May 2013, soon after his second trial started, to eight counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14.

Prosecutors identified 45 other alleged victims but the statute of limitations prevented his prosecution in those cases.

The first trial in 2009 ended in a hung jury. He was arrested in April 2007.

Prosecutors said the victims – between 9 and 13 at the time – were fondled during "medical" examinations during the counseling sessions between 1991 and 1996.

Dr. Ayres treated children between the 1960s to 2006 and evaluated hundreds of cases, including some involving sex offenders, in San Mateo County juvenile court in the 1970s, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

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