Local doctor's molestation trial begins

June 23, 2009 6:49:25 PM PDT
A San Mateo county prosecutor told a jury that a prominent child psychiatrist was in fact "a pedophile who wanted to look and touch the private parts of young boys."

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Child psychiatrist William Ayers is charged with molesting six boys from 1988 to 1996. They were all between the ages of nine and 13.

Victoria Balfour is a victims' rights advocate who convinced police to investigate the case.

"There is a tremendous amount of pain and anguish in their faces. I feel very protective of them. I know this day is here but I know it's going to be hard on them," said Balfour.

Judge Beth Freeman refused to allow ABC7'S cameras in the courtroom for the opening statements.

Deputy District Attorney Melissa McKowan told jurors the abuses happened when Dr. Ayers performed physicals on the boys even though they weren't necessary.

She said they were "but in fact a ruse by a pedophile who wanted to look and touch the private parts of young boys."

McKowan told the jury: "sometimes it was a simple touch, sometimes it lasted two minutes. Sometimes it involved fondling or masturbation."

Barbara is a friend of the reported victim's parents.

"I'm just painful for the whole things. I'm just sorry we didn't follow up on him because we had such strong feelings about him," she said.

Dr. Ayers lawyer, Doron Weinberg, declined to be interviewed but said in his opening statement that his client believed: "in open and honest sex education for young adults and that he had become a target for his honest views." which were controversial.

Weinberg said the young boys: "misconstrued, elaborated or misjudged" his medical examinations.

Late on Monday, the state's first witness, a 23-year-old man took the stand. In testimony that was both emotional and painful not only for the witness but for the courtroom crowd, he told the jury how Dr. Ayers molested him during a physical when he was 9-years-old.

The trial is expected to last for several weeks.

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