This is REALLY BAD: Dr. Jacqueline Amati Mehler- the doctor prosecutor Melissa Mckowan says on the Ayres blog was "physically unable to travel" flew from Rome to attend a meeting in Chicago ON JULY 31, 2009. This was A WEEK after the first Ayres criminal trial ended.
Why would the prosecutor say something like this? Didn't she think we would check this out?
Last edited by Mercyneal; 08-12-2010 at 11:14 PM.
Not able to add much tonight guys but that last post, taken alone, could incite the media. What's needed are tremendously horrid, but easily understood nuggets like that one.
The media is fickle and moves on so quickly. You have to go for the flash. That single fact would be be extremely embarrassing, I would think. Possibly enough to really embarrass the county. No?
Thanks Missizzy. Am in the process of sending to the media.
Dr. Jacqueline Amati -Mehler, who trained with Dr. William Ayres at Judge Baker in Boston from 1961-1963, described the standard training for ALL child psychiatrists in their group in an email to journalist Victoria Balfour in November, 2006: "In the sessions, it was verbal only. If there was a physical problem, pediatrics took care of it."
However, according to prosecutor Melissa Mckowan in a statement she made on the Ayres blog on January 29, 2010, Amati-Mehler didn't say this in a conversation the prosecutor claims she had with her. What confuses Balfour is why Amati- Mehler would tell her that she remembered Ayres well - even remembering the name of his hometown in Ohio - and that none of them were trained to touch kids, and then why Mckowan claims Amati Mehler told her a different story and that Amati Mehler didn't remember anything about Ayres and couldn't talk about how he was trained?
The $64,000 question is: did the prosecutor even bother to contact the doctors like Amati-Mehler who trained with Ayres that Balfour went to great pains to find? And even if all of the Boston-trained doctors Balfour found told Mckowan a different story than they did to Balfour- which is highly doubtful - why didn't the prosecutor go out and find her own doctors who trained with Ayres in Boston? Sure, it takes a little effort to track them down, but wouldn't the end result be worth it for the DA's office? Since the end of last year's trial, Balfour has located more than a dozen more doctors who trained with Ayres in Boston and at Yale. Some are still even still practicing. They all say that they were never ever permitted to give physicals to boys or girls during the therapeutic session. Heck, even the Judge Baker administration itself told Balfour that in August of 2009,after the Ayres trial. The Judge Baker administrator, Steve Schaeffer was horrified that anyone would even suggest that their doctors would be permitted to give genital exams to boys in therapy at any time in their almost 100 year history.
The Judge Baker administrator Steve Schaeffer asked Balfour why no one from the San Mateo District Attorney's office had ever contacted him to ask how child psychiatrists were trained there. Balfour did not have an answer. Only the San Mateo DA can answer that.
Is the real story that the prosecutor could just not be bothered ? Why did they not call anyone who trained with Ayres in Boston or Yale to the witness stand? Why did the prosecutor say on the Ayres blog in January 2010 that Dr. Jacqueline Amati Mehler is "physically unable to travel" when in fact the doctor was travelling from Rome to Chicago right after the conclusion of the Ayres trial? Is Mckowan misremembering? Confusing Dr. Amati Mehler with another doctor?
And here's more food for thought. Some in the Bay Area news media are now privately discussing among themselves that the San Mateo District Attorney's office does not want to win the Ayres case for fear of getting sued by all of the juveniles who were treated by Ayres in court-ordered sessions.
Last edited by Mercyneal; 08-13-2010 at 11:16 PM.
Respectfully snipped. That is exactly what I am worried about. I find it hard to believe a prosecutor could be that completely incompetent. So, therefore, there is a reason she is not trying real hard to dig up evidence. This is a very frightening scenario IMO. Could this be a potential documentable (is that a word?) conflict of interest?And here's more food for thought. Some in the Bay Area news media are now privately discussing among themselves that the San Mateo District Attorney's office does not want to win the Ayres case for fear of getting sued by all of the juveniles who were treated by Ayres in court-ordered sessions.
According to the San Mateo government website, this prosecutor is making $166,000 a year. The taxpayers are not getting their money's worth for her, or from anyone in that office in the Ayres case.
Re: that other case that prosecutor Melissa Mckowan is being sued for because of lying to the mother of a victim - the one that had a press conference this week with Mark Klaas.. According to the mother of the victim Mckowan told her that she couldn't prosecute her case because the prosecutor's office "didn't have any money. "
Why are the salaries in the San Mateo DA's office so high when people like Mckowan aren't doing their job and apparently make up falsehoods to victims and their parents and in statements under her own name on a blog?
It could be that the prosecutor isn't doing her job in a number of cases. We know of two already. It could be one of these things: that she is not competent, or overworked and having a mini breakdown. Or it could be that just likes to stretch and/or bungle the truth. It doesn't appear to people following the Ayres case that anyone in the DA's office was monitoring her. Maybe that neglect or lack of oversight is a tacit message from the top that winning the Ayres case isn't that urgent? But why go to all the trouble of prosecuting the case at all if they don't want to win? Mckowan wrote on the Ayres blog herself that she "hates to lose." She's certainly done a good job of not doing a good job on the Ayres case up to this point.
We have heard from witnesses who testified in the first Ayres trial that the prosecutor waited until the very last minute to prep them. She met with a key child psychiatrist only once. This key child psychiatrist had previously testified in a number of pedophile priests cases, and she said other prosecutors always prepped her more, and that her one meeting with the prosecutor was not the norm.
In the case in which the San Mateo DA and the prosecutor are being sued, the mother of the victim said she met with Mckowan only once to go over the trial. Melissa the prosecutor allegedly told the mother that she liked to let things just sail during the trial. But without much prep?
It would be interesting to find out exactly what she does during the day. I'm starting to wonder if she is out running personal errands and having her nails done.
Victoria Balfour asked Dr. Jacqueline Amati Mehler - who trained with Ayres in Boston -- specifically in 2006 in an email whether she had been trained to do physical exams on children in therapy at Judge Baker. Amati-Mehler who was there during at least two years that Ayres was -1961-1963 wrote to Balfour ,"In the sessions, it was verbal only. If there was a physical problem, pediatrics took care of it." Balfour gave a copy of that email to Captain Mike Callagy in November, 2006
Why the prosecutor would think that two trainees - Amati Mehler and Ayres who were at Judge Baker at the same time would receive different training on the matter of being permitted to give physical exams makes no sense.
The administration at Judge Baker told Balfour that throughout its nearly 100 year history, Judge Baker has set very strict guidelines in what is and isn't acceptable in the therapeutic session. Trainees were all trained the same way.
As stated, if Amati Mehler suddenly changed her tune and told a completely different story to the prosecutor than she had told Balfour (which is highly, highly doubtful) the DA's office might have looked for other doctors who trained with Ayres. They might have spent a few hours tracking down other child psychiatrists who were trained with Amati Mehler and Ayres - Eugene Piazza, Ted Sheftel come to mind. Balfour spoke to these child psychiatrists in December 2009. They trained with Ayres at JB and they sure never got the message that it was OK to give physical exams to boys in therapy. They said they did not do it and anyone who would have been caught doing so would have been severely reprimanded and most likely fired.
These doctors as well as Judge Baker administration would have told the DA that Judge Baker had strict guidelines and ALL trainees were trained the same way. They had very strict rules about what was permitted at Judge Baker. And allowing child psychiatrists to give boys physical exams in therapy was not permitted.
The DA would have also learned that Judge Baker was a bastion of child psychoanalysis and was a teaching place for child psychiatrists to teach the mind.
The DA would have also learned - if they had only taken time to research Judge Baker that not only were no child psychiatrists trained when Ayres was there to give physical exams to boys in therapy but that Judge Baker HAD STAFF PEDIATRICIANS ON SITE TO EXAMINE THE CHILDREN. The DA might tried to have locate the staff lists that include the list of staff pediatricians from the time Ayres was there from Judge Baker in Harvard's Countway library. The staff is very knowledgeable and would have gladly scanned the staff lists and emailed them to the San Mateo DA's office. But alas, no one in the San Mateo DA's office seemed particularly interested in Ayres training in Boston. The question is: why weren't they?
Dr. Hugh Ridlehuber, one of Ayres' former medical partners told Balfour in 2006 and the DA after Ayres was arrested that Ayres told him in the 1970s that was trained to give physicals to boys at Judge Baker after Ridlehuber confronted Ayres about undressing boys in therapy. That's why Balfour contacted Judge Baker. In one phone call, she learned that it was not true. Child psychiatrists when Ayres was there were not allowed to give physical exams to boys - or girls - in therapy.And despite the fact that Ridlehuber died before the trial, it sure would have been worthwhile for the DA to make that phone call to Judge Baker themselves even after Ridlehuber died. Alas, they did not.
And because they did not, some of the jurors actually believed Doron Weinberg when he said that it was "standard practise" when Ayres was being trained in the 1960s to give complete physical exams to boys in therapy. It was not.
Balfour checked with both child psychiatrists AND pediatricians who were at Yale in the 1950s when Ayres was there. Professors and trainees with Ayres at Yale said that child psychiatrist trainnees were not trained to do physicals on boys or girls in therapy.
So, Yale didn't teach child psychiatrists to give physicals to children when Ayres was there. Judge Baker-which is affiliated with Harvard - didn't either.
Why didn't anyone in the DA's office think to refute this? The tragedy is that it could so easily have been shown to be false.
Funny, he wasn't trained to give girls physical examination. He was only trained to give boys physical examinations. Uh, right.
In the trial, he said that he was taught at Yale that "you didn't need a chaperon when examining boys." So far, I have not been able to find a single pediatrician who was at Yale when Ayres was there who remembers being taught that.
Just wondering, Mercyneal, have you come across any former patients of Ayres's who are female? Surely he couldn't have only seen boys. I realize that he was preying on the boys but it would be fascinating to compare his treatment of the little girls. If his treatment of them was benign, possibly they hardly remember him.
Also have any of the victims presented the psych evals he did years ago? It would be really intriguing to see what quality of "real" work he did. I'd love to see one as I have so many (for seven of our adopted children) from the same geographical area and time frame. It's amazing how the quality varies, depending on the doctor.
The irony is that healthy children in their families of origin rarely have a psychiatric examination or a psychological evaluation. It is the children exhibiting symptoms of mental illness or those who are removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect allegations. The very merit of these children's situation renders them far more at risk.
Yes, Ayres did see some girls. But his practice, according to his own deposition in a civil suit, was about 80 % male. No girls have come forward to say he did any physical exams. A former girl patient called reporter John Cote of the San Francisco Chronicle after Ayres was arrested and said he had never given her a physcial.
Great question about "real work. " So far I have not found a single former patient who says Ayres did any talk therapy work. When Joel, the boy who was Ayres' patient in Boston and who was interviewed by the Boston Globe walked into his first session with Ayres in 1962, he said the first thing Ayres said was "Do you know what a b*** j** is?"
Joel who was 17 was sent to Ayres because he didn't want to go to college. Although Ayres never molested him - he was too old- Joel says that he never did any talk therapy. Just asked him about graphic sexual stuff. Never asked him about his family or why he didn't want to go to school or his friends or girlfriends. Joel also remembered that Ayres fell asleep sometimes in the session.
With the boys he molested, everything the boy said was manipulated by Ayres into so he could get them undressed. But no therapy was done. He asked one victim if he knew what semen smelled like. Only he used a more graphic word.
You get the picture.
At his first criminal trial, Dr. Ayres testified that a Yale child psychiatrist named "Al Songden" - who really turned out to be a Dr. Al Solnit taught him how to do physicals on children. This turned out to be false. Reporter Victoria Balfour has a new post up on this and new information from a longtime staff member at Yale pediatrics. See post at the William Ayres blog:
The reason I ask about the "real work" is that I am in possession of probably 15 psychiatric evaluations which were court ordered on foster children in the counties of Los Angeles, San Mateo and Santa Clara between the years 1987-1993. I also have another 20 or so ordered by the state or school districts in Oregon from 1994-2008. None of the children were seen for more than one or two sessions of evaluation. There was no talk therapy. There was no medication management. There was only evaluation, DSM-IV diagnosis, and recommendations about educational and therapeutic interventions.
I'm certainly not an expert but I have a few evals which are remarkable in their level of insight. What was said about a child 20 years ago (even while he was in crisis) speaks to the very core issues that person is still exhibiting. I have often advised adopting parents to pay extremely close attention to every single word of psych evals as they can be prophetic. I honestly don't know if the psychiatrists who saw my children while they were in foster care were sent to doctors who only did diagnostic evaluations or who also saw children for treatment. My now adult children have only vague memories of any of these doctors as they were all evaluated by so many other specialists. I think, that after awhile, "helping" adults become a blur for traumatized children.
We know that Ayres excelled at sexual assault. I just wonder if he was worth his salt as a psychiatrist.
As I said, there is no evidence that he ever practiced talk therapy - even with his longterm patients. Every statement made by the young male patients in his office - be it a statement that they had a crush on a girl, or that they were suicidal or hated their parents, was manipulated by Ayres in a way that was designed to get into their pants.
This case just continues to horrify me so much. My heart bleeds for all these poor children that thought they were gonna get help, only to be victimized, oftentimes after already suffering various forms of abuse and trauma. That they didn't receive treatment on top of it is further evidence that these so-called experts, at the top of their field, need to be looked at with a microscope.
For the prosecution to keep dropping the ball, whether intentionally or by incompetence, should be criminal in and of itself.
Last August, 2010, after the mistrial in the Ayres case, reporter Victoria Balfour, who was puzzled as to why the prosecution had not ever challenged Ayres' lawyer Doron Weinberg's statement to the jury that Ayres' giving physical exams to boys in therapy was part of his "therapeutic model," made an appointment to meet with Stephen Schaffer, the Chief Operating Officer of Judge Baker Children's Center in Boston. Ayres trained there from 1959 to 1963 and has told at least two child psychiatrists that he was trained to give genital exams to boys in therapy at Judge Baker.
Judge Baker COO Schaffer, who had never heard of the Dr. William Ayres criminal case,was stunned when Balfour asked him if Judge Baker Center had ever trained child psychiatrists to give genital exams to boys in therapy. He went dead white and said "NO!!!" His next question was, "Why didn't the San Mateo County District Attorney's office ever call me about this?"
Balfour posted her interview with Schaffer on the William Ayres blog in August, 2009. Here's an excerpt:
The San Mateo County Times in a June 19, 2009 article "Books Depicting Nude Young Boys Suppressed in Ayres Trial" also mentions that Ayres told his colleagues "medical exams" in therapy were part of his training:
The defense has argued that Ayres performed physical examinations on some of his patients as part of his "therapeutic model." He is the former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
He told colleagues that he performed medical examinations because it was the way he had been trained. He had done his residency in the early 1960s at the Judge Baker Center in Boston, one of the country's premier centers for the study of child psychology.
We asked Schaffer whether whether any child psychiatrists who had gone through training at Judge Baker at any time had been trained to give complete physical exams, including the genitals - as a regular and frequent part of therapy, as Ayres claims.
"No!" said Schaffer. "The idea that our psychiatrists were trained to give physical exams like that in therapy is just preposterous. It's absurd. It's horrifying. I've been in the field for a long time and I have never heard of child psychiatrists being trained to do this. We've trained close to 1000 psychiatrists and we have never taught this. I just can't imagine it."
We asked Schaffer how he felt about Ayres' "justification" of his touching boys in therapy by putting it all on Judge Baker.
"It's upsetting for us as an institution that Ayres would say this and also upsetting that he got away with it for so long," he said. "If it was reported at Judge Baker that our psychiatrists ever put a hand on a child, that psychiatrist would be put on leave and he would be reported to the police. "
Read more on the interview here:
Dr. Schaffer sounds indignant and appalled about this allegation made by Ayres. I have to ask then, why doesn't this man speak out even more loudly?
Ayres is actually besmirching the work of many fine men and women. Why aren't they, as a group, denouncing these lies?
Today some of us who are working to fact check Ms. Mckowan's statement on the Ayres blog about contacting Boston doctors whom reporter Victoria Balfour tracked down.
We have uncovered a THIRD version from Mckowan - as told to the mother of an in statute victim- as to why they didn't use the doctors. We will post this bizarre third version after we have first notified the proper authorities.
It just gets worse and worse.
I hate to sound like a broken record but I'd love to know that some of Ayres's evaluations were currently being evaluated themselves. A psychiatric eval of a child must follow a certain format and template. They are quite detailed and contain the results of mandated tests that must be completed in order to reach a diagnosis.
These are the sorts of ducuments that families keep. They seem "important" and are tremendously expensive (no matter who pays). They have a tendency to stay in a child's file forever and follow them through educational settings and treatments stays.
I would suggest starting a collection of these. Even with the children's names redacted, they would be a great indicator of just what this man was doing professionally for these children....other than molesting them and twisting their spirits.
As stated yesterday, I just learned of yet another story by prosecutor Melissa Mckowan as to why she did not contact the Boston doctors that reporter Victoria Balfour found, who said that Ayres was lying about his training and they had never done physical exams on boys in therapy. You will remember that in a statement on the Ayres blog back in January Mckowan wrote that she contacted the doctors but one of the doctors didn't know anything about Ayres (false) and didn't train with him(false) and that another doctor (which was actually the same doctor, only Mckowan got confused) wasn't "physically able to travel." (False as it has been shown that the doctor travelled from Rome to Chicago just a few days after the trial ended.)
Now, the new story she told the mother of a victim for her reasons for not contacting the doctors. The mother of the victim says that at the trial last summer, Mckowan told her, "Ayres lied about where he went to medical school. He said he never went to the one in Boston. We found out too late. That's why we never called the doctors."
This is just a completely perplexing statement that makes no sense. In Ayres' deposition for a molestaton civil trial in him in 2004, he correctly states that he went to the University of Wisconsin Medical School and that he went to Judge Baker in Boston for child psychiatry training. Ayres has lied about many things, but he is speaking the truth here. Furthermore, Judge Baker isn't even a medical school. Also, we have actually seen the copy of Ayres resume that his lawyer gave to the prosecution for the trial. The copy of the resume that the prosecution had, correctly states that Ayres went to the University of Wisconsin Medical School and to Judge Baker in Boston for training. We are very confused as to where Ayres has ever lied about which medical school he has gone to.
And anyway, even if he had lied about his medical school (which looks highly doubtful) all the prosecutor had to do was to put in a quick call to the school itself. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to check something like that. Was the prosecutor trying to say that Ayres was saying he never went to Judge Baker? If so, he didn't say that in the deposition, which the prosecutor quoted freely from during the trial. In the civil suit, he talked about his training at Judge Baker.
And also, even if the prosecutor discovered that he had lied about his medical school, what would that have to do with finding the doctors in Boston? Does she mean to say that she thought he lied about training in Boston, so the doctors who told Balfour that they trained with him were lying too?
And is she saying that they found out that he wasn't lying about Boston but by that point it was too late to put in a few calls to the doctors who trained with Boston?
And most importantly: Why did she write under her own name on the Ayres blog that she had contacted the doctors in Boston, yet tell the mother of a victim that she hadn't called them because it was "too late?"
Can anyone make sense of these not one but two excuses?
A citizen has already written to San Mateo Chief Deputy DA Steve Wagstaffe that people over at Websleuths are concerned about the prosector's response.
He told the citizen that he had read the Ayres thread on Websleuths and was going to ask the prosecutor to provide "more information."
We want to give a shout out to that citizen who has already expressed her concern to Wagstaffe. Anyone here feel like writing to him about the discrepancies in Mckowan's stories about contacting the Boston doctors who knew Ayres?
Here is Steve Wagstaffe's email. We encourage you to contact him. The reporters in the Bay Area also have this new information.
Last edited by Mercyneal; 08-18-2010 at 05:17 PM.
Here is a small excerpt from San Mateo Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe's response to the citizen who wrote to him about the concerns expressed about the Ayres prosecution here on Websleuths:
I am of course concerned about the manner in which my prosecutors are handling the Ayres case and also with the perception of our work in the public eye. I have reviewed the websleuth link you provided and recognize I need more information from the prosecutor on the case, Ms. McKowan and her supervisors.
A victim in the Ayres case has now told me a third story that he says Mckowan told him as to why she never called the Boston doctors to the stand who would have testified that Ayres was lying about his training.
She said that she didn't call them because Ayres himself never brought up his training in Boston. This makes no sense, as the prosecutor called in other child psychiatrists, including one from Stanford, who spoke generally about how child psychiatrists are not trained to give physical - especially genital exams - to boys in therapy.
If the prosecutor can call in expert witnesses who did not even train with Ayres to testify about doctors' training, wouldn't it then follow that she could also call in expert witnesses who actually trained with Ayres to talk about his training?
So far we count three different stories that the prosecutor has told people as to why she didn't call those doctors who trained with Ayres. We feel that she has told other stories to other people.
Yesterday we spoke to an expert witness for the prosecution in the Ayres trial last summer. This expert witness expressed shock at how little prep work Mckowan did for the case. This expert has testified in about 75 pedophile priests cases. The expert says on average, they meet with prosecutors at least three times and they prep for an average of eight hours. The expert says that Mckowan only met them once for "less than an hour."
The expert says that Mckowan likes to do cases cold.
We hear that Mckowan did little prep work in the case in which she and the District Attorney's office is being sued as well. Sources say that she had the case for two and a half years , but waited until a week before to start prepping for that child abuse case. She informed the family of the victim that she had not lined up any expert witnesses for the case and then asked the family if they could pay for an expert themselves. Is that standard practice- asking a family to locate an expert witness and then paying for them themselves?