The former San Mateo child psychiatrist awaiting a retrial on charges he molested several male patients won’t learn until after the new year if he’s competent to aid in his own defense.
William Hamilton Ayres’ defense on Friday successfully moved his client’s Oct. 4 competency jury trial until Jan. 10 — a year and a half after a jury failed to reach verdicts on nine counts of lewd and lascivious activity and almost four years after his 2007 arrest.
Judge Lisa Novak granted the defense request for more time but warned it will be the last continuance. Ayres, 78, remains free from custody on $750,000 bail.
Court-appointed doctors have already found Ayres fit for trial but defense attorney Jonathan McDougall demanded a trial on the matter. Sanity is a person’s state of mind at the time of an alleged crime while competency is his or her ability to aid in their own defense. If Ayres is found competent, he will proceed to trial but an incompetency finding sends him to a state hospital for treatment.
Ayres is accused of molesting six former male patients when they were aged 9 to 13 between 1988 and 1996 under the guise of medical exams. Jurors deadlocked in varied amounts on every count and prosecutors announced plans to retry him on the same charges. In March, McDougall expressed doubts about Ayres’ competency and criminal proceedings were suspended.