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.