Juvenile Sexual Assaults Victims of Dr. William Ayres: The Forgotten Victims

Number 27712
Subject Sexual Assault
Source Prison Legal News (PLN)
State California
Year 2016
Publication Date Sept. 2, 2016
Summary For forty years, hundreds of juveniles in San Mateo County, California were sexually assaulted in court-ordered sessions by prominent child psychiatrist Dr. William Ayres. But when the victims spoke out, they were either ignored or punished by authorities. It wasn’t until 2002, when journalist Victoria Balfour contacted police on behalf of one of Ayres’ victims, a private patient, that a criminal case against Ayres began to get traction. In 2013, Ayres, a former President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, pleaded no contest to molesting boys who had been his private patients. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. However, Balfour had a fierce belief that the voices of his juvenile victims urgently needed to be heard in this case as well. When agencies in San Mateo County whose job it was to protect juveniles rebuffed her request to find the juvenile victims, Balfour embarked on a 3 and-a-half year project to find them herself. Working on a detective's theory that most of Ayres' juvenile victims were now in prison, she wrote to more than 300 inmates from San Mateo County and asked if they had been evaluated by Ayres. Balfour’s article recounts the horrifying and heartbreaking responses she received from inmates about their abuse by Dr. Ayres, one of the most prolific child molesters in recent California history.
Category Contest Entry
Pages
Keywords juveniles; molestation; prison; psychiatry
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