Some very encouraging news: we can report that the jury was very close to convicting Ayres on one count, and that the vote was 11-1. We can also report that there was another vote of 10-2 to convict on another count.
Update: The San Francisco Chronicle is now reporting that the jury was leaning toward conviction on ALL nine counts. 11-1 on six counts, 10-2 on one count and 7-5 on two counts.
It's no surprise to us that the holdout juror on the 11-1 counts was the young woman who had recently graduated from law school. Those of you who read our interview with the first dismissed juror in "The Dismissed Juror's Story" from July 20, 2009 will remember that she singled out the young lawyer as someone who would never convict. In that story the dismissed juror told us was that the young lawyer said of the victims who testified:" I believe they believe they are telling the truth, but I don't believe they are."
We can't help wondering if this young juror would have changed her vote had she known the following:
- that there are least 42 victims and counting.
- that Ayres paid almost $400,000 in a molestation civil suit to a victim
- that Ayres had in his possession photo books of nude adolescent boys in sexually provocative poses - some in locker rooms. If the books had been admitted as evidence ( and would have, had the police followed the proper procedures for the search warrant), would the juror have startled - as many in the courtroom who knew about the sickening naked boy books did -- when she heard the good doctor fondly reminisce on the stand about his teenage days, "when boys walked around buck naked in locker rooms, snapping towels at each other?"
- Would the juror have voted differently had she known that although Ayres maintains he had been trained to give physicals during the therapeutic exam at Judge Baker Guidance Center in Boston,his colleagues who trained with Ayres in Boston in 1960s have said that they were NOT EVER trained to give physicals to boys, and never touched any boys during therapy and indeed said that it was crazy for him to suggest that they did ? And that a number of his colleagues from his training days were shocked and appalled at the thought that a child psychiatrist would touch a boy in therapy?
- Would the juror have voted differently had she known that at least three victims had been anally penetrated - one of them the victim who dropped out at the last minute out of anxiety about having to testify to this?
- Would the juror have voted differently had she known that some therapists actually tried to file a complaint to Childrens Services about Ayres?
Would the juror have voted differently had she heard from child psychiatrist Dr. David Schwartz, who was interviewed by the San Mateo Police Department during Greg Hogue's case in 1987 about whether it was proper for a shrink to be touching the genitals of boys, and who told them "Absolutely not! It's dangerous!" Would she have had second thoughts about acquitting had she heard Dr. Schwartz testify that he told the cops that he had a patient whom he suspected had been molested by Ayres?
- Would she have felt differently had she known that one of Ayres' former partners believed that he too had a patient he believed was molested by Ayres?
- Would she have done it differently had she known many doctors just stopped sending boys to Ayres because they suspected that he was molesting boys?
-Would she have voted differently had she, say, been able to hear from an FBI sex abuse profiler who would talk about how most men who are molested never come forward?
Would she have voted differently had she known that at least one victim was a lawyer ?
-Who knows.. maybe she would have still voted to acquit. Maybe she wants to be a private defender. Maybe she is hoping to get a job with Weinberg.
Whatever. A number of sex crimes prosecutors and judges have told us that women in their twenties ( and men too) are in general not good to have on juries in sex crimes cases. There are always exceptions but the general consensus is that these young ones do not have the life experience to grasp the evil that some can do.
However, it is our strong belief that given the good news about how close the jury was to convict on at least two counts, that there's a high probability that the DA will retry the case.
If there is a retrial, we hope that a lesson has been learned. We hope next time around to see older jurors who have children.
UPDATE: This San Mateo County Times story was listed as one of the top news stories on the Yahoo page at 5:50 pm today:
San Mateo County jury was leaning toward conviction in Ayres molestation trial