William Ayres Held Accountable For Crimes Finally


On Monday August 26th, the San Mateo County Courts received a pre-sentence report and heard numerous statements from victims and others affected by the case against William Ayres originally investigated by the San Mateo Police Department. During the years 1988-1996, as stated by the District Attorney’s Office, Ayres, a San Mateo Psychiatrist “molested multiple male victims who had come to him for counseling … during ostensible “Medical” examinations of the boys during counseling sessions.” During the course of this long-term investigation, investigators encountered a multitude of victims, a number of whom sought closure despite the occurrence of their cases beyond the statute of limitations.

On May 16th, 2013, after years of intensive investigation by SMPD and a hard fought prosecution case by the San Mateo County DA’s Office, Ayres ultimately pleaded Nolo Contendere to eight counts of  felony child molestation and admitted to allegations of substantial sexual conduct with minors under 14 making him ineligible for probation.

In today’s hearing, Judge Beth Freeman found Ayres guilty of 8 counts of felony child molestation, each carrying an 8-year sentence, to be served concurrently by the 81 year-old Ayres in state prison.

The San Mateo Police Department wishes to commend the dogged and intensive efforts put forth by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office in this important case, with special accolades to Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti and Deputy District Attorney Melissa McKowan, who through the leadership of DA Steve Wagstaffe tenaciously put forth an extraordinary amount of time and effort in the strategic planning of what was ultimately a very successful case against tough odds.

San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer stated “We are extremely happy that justice prevailed in this case. This case saw difficulties including a lack of victims who were in statute initially. Through extraordinary efforts of victims and victim advocates, our District Attorney’s office, and our own police staff, we are grateful to see this case conclude successfully. While we can never repair the damage done, this conviction and sentencing brings closure to so many victims who bravely came forward to see Ayres held accountable for his crimes.”

The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office is thrilled to see a successful conclusion to a long and grueling case. The balance in this prosecution case had to be kept between the desire to hold Ayres accountable for his heinous crimes against all his victims, and minding the statutes of limitations that framed the manner in which the case had to be pursued.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe stated that “The long-term vision, dedication and determination of San Mateo Police, and especially Deputy Chief Michael Callagy and Sergeant Rick Decker, were crucial components of this successful outcome. This was a case on which SMPD just would not quit. It shows the character of the San Mateo Police Department that through the leadership of Chief Susan Manheimer, SMPD continued to dedicate resources to doing right by the numerous victims of William Ayres.”

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