Author subpoenaed and barred from attending criminal trial

A freelance reporter writing a book about a psychiatrist’s child molestation case has been called as a witness in the trial and kicked out of the courtroom, according to the San Mateo County Times.

Victoria Balfour, a former reporter for People magazine, is writing a book about the case of Dr. William Ayres, a 77-year-old child psychiatrist who was arrested in 2007 on charges of molesting some of his young patients. His trial in San Mateo County Superior Court is now underway.

Balfour had been covering the case when she was subpoenaed by Ayres’ attorney, Doron Weinberg, to testify on July 9, the San Mateo County Times reported. As part of that subpoena, she was banished from the courtroom. Balfour filed an emergency motion to allow her to attend the proceedings, but San Mateo County Superior Judge Beth Freeman upheld the order excluding her from the courtroom, the paper reported.

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Her case has drawn some publicity – the Los Angeles District Attorney wrote an article on Huffington Post standing up for Balfour’s rights to attend the proceedings and saying the subpoena was sent specifically to keep the reporter from covering the case.

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