UPDATE: Students, Parents Testify in Concord Teacher’s Molestation Trial

June 24, 2014 22:06 pm · 18 comments


Two 14-year-old boys testified in a Martinez courtroom today that their former teacher at Concord’s Woodside Elementary School put his hand down their shirts and fondled them during class and after-school hangouts.

Joseph Martin, 46, sat quietly next to his attorney today as his two former students and the parents of one of the boys took the stand in the second day of the trial against him.

The longtime elementary school teacher and married father of two is charged with 150 counts of child molestation involving 14 former students.

During his arrest , police searched Martin’s classroom and Martinez home and turned up a variety of evidence, including a letter he wrote to God.

On Monday, Deputy District Attorney Derek Butts shared the letter with the jury.

“Dearest Father,” he wrote, “Before this, I was living for myself only, I was living to gratify me, serve me and feed my sinful desires. I am a new man now and being that, I am so incredibly grateful … Please God, help me to not get arrested, not go to jail, and in the name of Jesus, not be charged with any crimes.”

Incarcerated since his arrest last year, Martin wore a gray pinstriped suit and listened intently, sometimes taking notes, as the teens spoke.

Both boys, referred to in court documents as John Doe 1 and John Doe 12, said Martin paid them special attention while they were in his class in both fourth and fifth grade, and as middle school students when he invited them for frequent after-school visits to his classroom.

Patrick Clancy, Martin’s defense attorney, painted his client as a dedicated teacher who helped motivate his students, and both teens said today that Martin’s classes were filled with fun activities. On “Magic Mornings,” the Woodside Elementary School teacher’s classroom came alive with songs, dancing and strobe lights, and he organized a variety of fun activities, the attorney said.

He showed the court glowing teacher evaluation letters from both boys. One wrote, “I love you…more than all the other teachers.”

Both boys said they liked the extra attention from Martin, whom they said would arrange for them to sit close to him during classroom activities. Hugs were frequent.

Many times, he would slip his hand down their T-shirts and massage their nipples and stomach area, the boys testified.

John Doe 12 said the teacher would have him sit between his legs and massaged his chest underneath his shirt while the class watched a movie.

“That shouldn’t have happened…but I was only in fourth or fifth grade and I didn’t know any better,” the teen said.

He said that during class meetings, Martin told students to speak with him privately if they had any problems with him, “because he didn’t want…to get a phone call from parents.”

Even after they left Woodside Elementary, Martin invited both boys to his classroom after school.

John Doe 1 testified that he would frequently play basketball with his former teacher and other boys as a sixth and seventh-grader.

After the games, Martin would sometimes change out of his clothes with the boys in the room, although he would tell them to go to a corner while he changed, the boy testified.

When John Doe 12 was in sixth grade, Martin called the boy’s mother to ask if he could give him private chess lessons in his classroom after school. During the lessons, the defendant would sometimes have him sit on his lap and massage him under his T-shirt while they watched videos on Martin’s computer, the teen testified.

The boy’s mother, who also testified in court today, said she initially appreciated the attention he paid her son and knew that he enjoyed Martin’s classes.

As he got older, Martin asked permission to take the boy on outings outside of the classroom – to the movies, the arcade or to his pool, she testified. Her son always came home from the outings with gifts including games, a pair of tennis shoes and clothing, she said.

Martin showed up at the family’s house on her son’s 13th birthday last March with a card and money, she said.

Shown to the court on an overhead projector Martin wrote in the card, “Thank you for always being so happy to see me and making me feel loved.”

When her son told her earlier this year that he didn’t want to see his former teacher anymore, Martin kept calling.

“Mr. Martin was persistent with the calls – calling again and again,” she said. “Sometimes he just appeared at our home with treats.”

After telling Martin on the phone that her son was too busy to see him, the defendant showed up at the family’s house hours later, looking for the boy, she testified.

During cross-examination today, Clancy asked the boys about the lawsuit their parents, along with several others, filed against Martin and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.

He also questioned the parents of John Doe 12 about the suit, which was filed last August.

“Are you hoping to make a bunch of money on this lawsuit?” the defense attorney asked the boy’s father.

The man said any money awarded in the suit would go to his son.

“The only thing I want to do…I want that he doesn’t come back to do the same thing,” the man testified.

Testimony in the trial is set to continue on Monday morning.

RELATED STORY: Trial Underway Against Concord Teacher Accused of Molesting Students

Anonymous June 24, 2014 at 10:58 PM

Derek Butts is a super DA

Ay Carumba June 24, 2014 at 11:07 PM

This is better than the abuse I received as a student in a Parochial School in the 50’s . Locked in the bathroom, made to sit in a corner for hours and erasers thrown at students. told you were stupid and made to clean up other kid’s peepee after they were hit with a ruler. Never made to feel special at all… which is a worse teaching style?

JD June 24, 2014 at 11:24 PM

Sick b*st*rd. When the trial is over, I’m sure you’ll be welcomed with open arms by the general population at the prison that you are sentenced to (a foregone conclusion). Some of those boys will be loving you soon.
BTW- Your god sent your letter back, unopened, postage due.

Iron Maiden June 25, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Kudos to the parents and kids who testified at that creeps trial.

mika June 25, 2014 at 8:05 AM

Hope they get MDUSD employees on the stand.

Overwhelmed June 25, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Unfortunately he will not be in general population. They will keep him in solitary confinement. He will have yard time, but it will be in a seperate yard. He will eat in his cell and take his showers at a different place and time. He will be well protected.

anon June 25, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Well people do worship a variety of God’s.

anon June 25, 2014 at 9:18 AM
Mr. Pink June 25, 2014 at 10:00 AM

I guess God said “no.”

Doctor J June 25, 2014 at 10:30 AM

all the prospective jurors were shown the witness lists for the DA and Martin defense to see if they knew any of these people. why can’t the public get a look at those public documents ? excising of course the names of children.

Mr. Pink June 25, 2014 at 12:10 PM


John June 25, 2014 at 2:54 PM

He IS handsome

PHILTHYphresh June 25, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Lets embrace the rich divercity of out non section 8 residents, and the child molestors, meth addicts, and racial separatists they offer us.

man June 25, 2014 at 8:29 PM


man June 25, 2014 at 9:06 PM


HIde your kids June 25, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Coaches, Teachers, Priests…anyone who you think you can trust………run!

Shiloh July 2, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Mayor, is this trial still ongoing? Did the judge close the courtroom?

CLAYCORD.com July 2, 2014 at 12:32 PM

@Shiloh, it will be going on for the next month or so. We are following it and will report on it when the big developments occur or when key witnesses testify.


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