Trial Underway Against Concord Teacher Accused of Molesting Students

June 23, 2014 11:39 am · 51 comments


Attorneys are delivering opening statements in a Martinez courtroom today in the trial against a longtime Woodside Elementary school teacher accused of molesting 14 former students.

Joseph Martin, 46, is on trial in Contra Costa County Superior Court for 150 counts of sexual abuse of former students at the elementary school, located on San Simeon Dr. in Concord.

The trial comes about a year after Martin was arrested at his Martinez home on suspicion of dozens of instances of lewd and lascivious acts against children under 14 years old. The arrest stemmed from an investigation sparked by a student who reported last April that Martin had inappropriately touched him.

He has been in custody in county jail since his arrest and pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. More charges were filed against Martin earlier this year after another victim came forward, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors allege that Martin abused his victims both at his home and in his classroom at Woodside Elementary.

Several lawsuits have been filed against Martin and Mount Diablo Unified School District in connection with the alleged abuse.

The former teacher had been employed with the district since 1991.

TT June 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

I still remember wanting to be in his class because he seemed fun… Glad I wasn’t!

Reality Slap June 23, 2014 at 11:50 AM

I’d have never made the jury on this scum buckets trial. Yeah, I know, innocent til proven guilty….I just couldn’t be objective when “dozens of instances” of perversion are alleged against a person.

#1mom June 23, 2014 at 11:52 AM

so glad my kids didnt have him and that my daughter dont have to worry about getting him when shes goes back to school….

The Mamba June 23, 2014 at 11:53 AM

I hope they get to the bottom of why his forehead is so big.

Mrs Doubtfire June 23, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Be leary, be very leary of people that love to work with kids, especially after hours one on one.

What security June 23, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Me too, he always had candy.

BD June 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Got called into Jury Duty for this case. First thing judge says was trial will go to at least until the middle of August. I was sitting in the courtroom starring at him thinking where do I know this guy from. Realized that I saw him on claycord and got excused. Thanks for keeping me off that jury Mr. Mayor.

Hmmmm June 23, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I don’t know…. Long ago, actually in the early ’90’s, I had him as a teacher… As did many of my friends and family… He lived near family members, as well… Never molested anyone that I knew of. I did know that many parents didn’t like him because they thought he was “gay.” Wouldn’t be surprised if it was some kind of a witch hunt. Will reserve judgment until he’s proven guilty… …

Anon June 23, 2014 at 1:02 PM

He’s not the first predator that the district has hired. Why do they hire such snapperheads instead of teachers that are qualified and not molesters.

What security June 23, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Reason # I don’t like talking to children or even being around them.
once they put that jacket on you. You are done!
yeah people do band together to make us lies. True.
lots of men are perverts, not all
he probably crossed the line with and crossed the line.
bottom line he done.
pray for the victims because many usually end up messed up or continue the favor

GUILTY June 23, 2014 at 1:10 PM

So far he’s guilty of being just a little bit strange, but not disturbingly so. He was always very friendly, rode his bike to and from school, sort of wore weirdly tight shirts and generally was just a little bit different. Certainly he’s guilty of being those things, too bad that being nice, wearing tight shirts and riding your bike to work makes you weird.

We’ll see on the other guilt, but methinks that since the DA knows how completely mere accusations can destroy a person and risk a lawsuit if the guy isn’t guilty, that they have more than enough to nail him for something the public won’t feel bad about sending him to big boy jail for.

Marianne June 23, 2014 at 1:14 PM

He looks creepy…so glad none of my children had him as a teacher anyway.

Egomaniac June 23, 2014 at 1:56 PM

This guy has an ego issue. Saw on the noon news photos of him in court today. He actually smiled and looked directly into the journalists’ camera as if he was in a photo shoot. All while he’s being read his multiple counts of molestation charges! Unbelievable!

WC Resident June 23, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Forget the trial. Just put one to the side of his obnoxiously large head.

? June 23, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Well now fingerprinting and background checks work really well to catch those IF they’re already convicted. What about those not yet caught?

Politicians are relentless in mandating what our children are to be taught.
Haven’t heard of day-glow democrats, in control of this State, bothering to introduce legislation that mandates repeatedly teaching children what inappropriate touching is?

Always Right June 23, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Interesting how the media seems to go to great lengths to describe his victims as “children”, when they were actually adolescent boys ages 11-17.

Anyone want to complain about the Boy Scouts policy now?

PHILTHYphresh June 23, 2014 at 2:28 PM

@smartgoodlookinndebonaire lets embrace our white, trash talkin community and the antisemitic, and child molesting diversity it bring us.

David June 23, 2014 at 2:38 PM

@Always Right

I’ll take bait… yes, I would like to complain abou the Boy Scouts policy.

What does preventing gays from serving as Scout Masters, have to do with pedophiles?

Bob the Repairman June 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM

If I had a son he be just like Joseph!! – B.H.O.

MDUSD Grad June 23, 2014 at 4:19 PM

@Always Right

He taught 4th and 5th grade. His students/victims would have been 9-10 years old.

What security June 23, 2014 at 4:32 PM

pervs are everywhere, fathers, stepfathers, cops, firemen, priests, rabbis teachers dentist doctors, siblings neighbors etc the list goes on and on

Just remember we have to teach our children to say NO loud and proud!!
We have to talk them about how not be a victims. These pervs will try anything.

What security June 23, 2014 at 4:42 PM
Doctor J June 23, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Which MDUSD administrators are on the DA and Martin witness lists ? Might be a long summer for these administrators.

Julz June 23, 2014 at 5:14 PM

One of my children had Mr. Martin for 4th grade and I was one of the room parents. Yes he was a bit quirky and I spent a lot of time in the classroom and with him and the kids. I never ever saw anything suspicious and my child did not either…we had a long talk when all this was coming out and he and all his friends all said the same thing, Mr. Martin never did anything in appropriate…they just thought he was different. But they loved him as a teacher… I will reserve any judgement nor will I condemn… I just pray and hope this was not a witchhunt-sadly adults can say things to children and the children play it out…

THE MAMA June 23, 2014 at 7:17 PM

@Always right – you obviously don’t have children to have the nerve to say 11-17 should not be called a child. Are you out of your fricken’ mind? And leave the scouts out of this.

Still anon June 23, 2014 at 7:36 PM

@doctor j, you seem to know all. Why don’t you tell us who is on the list?

MDUSD Board Watcher June 23, 2014 at 7:45 PM

What old board members and principals are going to be joining him in jail?

GE June 23, 2014 at 8:19 PM

He was my son’s 4th grade teacher. I remember that he collected grocery carts on the weekend for money he gave to the church. My son said he did nothing wrong to him.

Gabriel LeBaron June 23, 2014 at 9:18 PM

please if someone can tell me when the next court date is I would like to be there.. as Im deeply affected by this case… My daughter ripped up her promotion certificate, because the boys confided in her that they were being abused.. my daughter was visibly shaken.. the prev sent 11X14 valentine day cards home and then pictures of himself in 4X6. I hope he fries…

Always Right June 23, 2014 at 9:32 PM

@MDUSD Grad – Please check the newspaper reports on this guy. He was accused of molesting boys aged 11-17. News reports said he would “groom ” them while in his class and then engage in his perversions as they got older.

@David – The Scouts are doing their best to protect boys from same-sex attracted men who seek out sexual contact with boys. I wish there were some sort of way to filter out those gay men who are not a threat to young boys from those who are, but there is no such filter. The risks are just too high.

Are you aware the Red Cross does not allow men who have had male sexual partners to give blood? Although not every gay man carries AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases, the risk is just too high.

I think protecting boys from sexual predation is about as important as protecting our blood supply from diseases. Don’t you agree?

Anon June 23, 2014 at 10:15 PM

I always saw him alone with boys from my class or a boy who helped out our class. I had a weird feeling, strange things were going on.

David June 23, 2014 at 10:36 PM

@Always Right

No, I don’t agree. I don’t think I understand what you are talking about.

What does being gay have to do with pedophiles? Should we stop straight men from being school teachers because the risk to our daughters is just too high?

Mark June 24, 2014 at 12:05 AM

Ignore dr. J. He’s a troll….just looking to incite a reaction. He’s Strange.

Dennis June 24, 2014 at 12:50 AM

What group tries hardest to project the pedophile image onto priests? teachers, of course.
maybe they hope the public won’t catch on that there are thousands of times more teachers than priests, and thus thousands more teacher pedophiles.

Shelly June 24, 2014 at 7:11 AM

Thank you David, #32, I was just about to explain to Never Right that LGBT people are not the same as pedophiles. Not that he or she ever listens to anyone else. It’s difficult to do if you think you’re always right.

@24 June 24, 2014 at 7:17 AM

I am starting to hear a lot of the same comments sounds like he has hundreds of witnesses who were in class and never witnessed any wrong doing. I like you will hold off judgement until we see all the facts.

Shark4ever June 24, 2014 at 9:40 AM

I recall reading he had to leave Holbrook Elementary in the early 90’s because of accusations back then. Sounds like he was under suspicion for quite awhile.

Hmmmm June 24, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Ohhh woow… He sent cards to his students on holidays … Child molester for sure… *rolls eyes*

Guido June 24, 2014 at 1:17 PM

So many morons write on Claycord! Judge not, lest ye be judged! We are presumed innocent in this country, until proven otherwise! That’s why we have a justice system with a fair trial of our peers. I’m amazed at how many idiots live in Concord….that never learned this in school!

Cowellian June 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Everybody, please welcome Guido, the newest moron to write on Claycord!

@ Guido June 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Hitler,Stalin and Pol Pot never had a fair trial .,I think they were guilty too.

Always Right June 24, 2014 at 3:13 PM

@THE MAMA – So you are attacking me personally because I defended the Boy Scouts?

You are one mean MAMA. .

The Closer June 24, 2014 at 3:50 PM


…Presumed innocent until blah,blah,blah. This isn’t a court of law, this is the Claycord Court of Public Opinion. The plaintiff is granted no such luxuries here.

Darwin June 24, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Where does Guido work????

The Closer June 24, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Oops, should be defendant not plaintiff

Doctor J June 24, 2014 at 5:33 PM

The Martin civil cases take millions out of your children’s classrooms — and the responsible administrators have been promoted and given raises, with not a single one being fired. Just today posted by MDUSD: “We have an ongoing litigation matter. while it is unknown at this time what will occur, it could entail the expenditure of in excess of $3 Million over the next two years. We will be looking into creating an insurance reserve of $1 Million each year, if feasible.” MDUSD fails to state how much has been spent to date. To equal the recent molestation settlements in a nearby district, the amount could exceed $100 Million, right out of your children’s classrooms.

Atticus Thraxx June 24, 2014 at 5:41 PM

“Ask not whom the hell trolls, it trolls for thee”- A.Thraxx

Doctor J June 24, 2014 at 9:52 PM

The Board is willing to state in the budget it will partially fund settlements in the Martin civil cases, but no line items in the budget for fully funded sports or full funded 5th grade music as previously promised. How dumb does the Board think we are ?

k. saint June 24, 2014 at 10:30 PM

A related post on Claycord states that there are 150 counts against this teacher. Does anyone know if the charges are public information and if so, where they can be read? I would like to read the severity of charges in terms of misdemeanor vs. felony charges.

ANNONeeemoose June 24, 2014 at 11:56 PM

I think the Mayor had previously posted the charges… since the kids are minors no names are given but I believe the charges were there… I’m not sure how to find that old post though.

Still anon June 25, 2014 at 7:04 PM

@Mark, you capitalized The word strange, I take it you mean strange to be a proper noun? Maybe as in Paul?

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