Concord Teacher Accused of Molesting Students Takes Stand for 2nd Day – Denies Lewd Conduct

July 31, 2014 19:00 pm · 40 comments

A Contra Costa County prosecutor in a Martinez courtroom today portrayed a popular Concord elementary school teacher as a pedophile who became obsessed with certain male students, developed inappropriate relationships with them and tried to conceal his lascivious conduct.

Joseph Martin, 46, took the stand for the second day in Contra Costa County Superior Court today as the trial against him winds down.

The longtime fourth and fifth-grade teacher at Concord’s Woodside Elementary School is charged with 150 counts of lewd and lascivious acts against 14 of his former students.

After a 22-year teaching career, Martin was placed on administrative leave, investigated and arrested in the spring of 2013 following a parent’s report he had inappropriately touched her son.

Today Deputy District Attorney Derek Butts again asked the defendant about his close relationships with some of his male students.

Two of the purported victims with whom he was especially close had similar backgrounds, including a lack of a strong male role model and major tragedies in their families, according to Martin’s testimony.

As with many of the accusers in the case, Martin spent extra time with the two boys outside of school – often having them over to his house and taking them on outings. He gave both of the boys gifts, including a bicycle, and was physically affectionate with them, Martin testified.

In one incident, one of the boys was in a bathroom in the defendant’s home when he began crying about a death in the family and Martin kissed him on the cheek, he testified.

Dressed in a suit and tie and speaking calmly from the witness stand today, Martin again insisted there was no sexual intent behind the kiss or any of the frequent hugs, pats and backrubs he gave the boy as well as the 13 other purported victims.

The boys, most of whom are now teens, have testified at the trial that the teacher would slip his hand underneath their shirts and rub their chests and stomachs, and that they sometimes sat on his lap.

“Despite all of the attention you gave those boys, you ended up alienating them,” Butts told Martin.

Martin testified that he checked in with his students to make sure the hugs and other touches were ok with them.

It wasn’t uncommon for the teacher to gauge his students’ feelings about him and any issues they might have with him via class meetings and surveys, he testified.

In one letter to his fourth-grade class, Martin wrote, “This is a personal letter just between you and me.” “Did I ever hurt your feelings, upset you, or make you feel uncomfortable and we have not worked it out?” he wrote. “If I did that, please let me know what happened so that I can discuss it in private with you.”

Butts said the letters showed Martin’s concern “that they’re going to go home and tell their parents something,” which the defendant denied.

The jury also saw a survey Martin gave his class in 2011 in which he asked them to share any positive or negative comments they had heard about him from classmates, teachers or parents.

Martin testified that he distributed the survey because he thought a colleague was spreading rumors about him and wanted to know whether the students had heard them.

During another round of questioning, the defendant admitted to entering Google searches on his computer asking whether police could trace his Internet history and how he could erase past searches.

Some of the search queries included “If you watch a YouTube video is it downloaded to your computer?” and “Can the police look at my Internet history?”

Martin testified that he worried the searches would make him appear guilty.

His attorney, Patrick Clancy, has argued throughout the trial that Martin was always a well-liked teacher who became the victim of a school rumor mill that led to “mass hysteria” and a “witch hunt” that culminated in criminal charges.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday morning.

Cartman July 31, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Boil him.

Sick July 31, 2014 at 8:17 PM

I hope they throw the book at this low life pervert .Im sure this CHOMO will get his in prison!

Wit-Sec July 31, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Any physical evidence seized from the children?

Child molestation accusations are difficult to determine if accurate without physical evidence.

Children answer questions how they feel they’re expected to answer.
I would want to watch the video of the interview of the child to determine if leading questions or “yes/no” questions were asked of the child.

You’re never supposed to know to ask children yes or no questions when seeking out the truth. You’re supposed to let the child tell you their story in their own words.

Jake July 31, 2014 at 8:46 PM

What a sick world we live in

Smart,Goodlooking&Debonaire July 31, 2014 at 9:04 PM

just another obama voter.

Of course he denies everything July 31, 2014 at 9:09 PM

he is putting the burden of proof on the children. This convinces me that he is a pathological pervert. What seems normal to him is depraved behavior to any normal person. In any case his future is ruined.

Killjoy July 31, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Curious how the ad above this story is for “Spanx”.

That being said, I think it’s not only disgusting what he did, but even what says he DID do, he thinks that’s okay?????
Finish the trial, and find out what the jury has to say. If found guilty? Fry him.

@ killjoy July 31, 2014 at 9:33 PM

That was really funny!!!

Teacher Wannabe July 31, 2014 at 9:37 PM

If found not guilty, his career is ruined anyway.

Smart,Goodlooking&Debonaire July 31, 2014 at 10:14 PM

liberal mantra: if it feels good, do it!

PhilthyPHRESH July 31, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Aww yes fellow conservative smart n deb… Oh wait another neoconservative blaming Obama voters for your downfalls….well embrace Obama voters and our non section 8 residents. And embrace such people that might be anyone’s uncle, that claims he is conservative, but before conservatives is neocon, but fondles kids, and is not wise to the truth, because to ask God for anything is foolish, as to according to Christian theology God already gave us life, as to these people are just like you. Embrace section 8 for stealing from our non section 8, child molesting, racist, class separatist, claiming to be conservative, meth smoking and manufacturing, alcoholic, and claiming to be the wise community. Kudos to your people my smart and neoconservative friend.

Yhe Phantom July 31, 2014 at 10:34 PM


Middle school?

Such a cute little kitten!

Anonymous July 31, 2014 at 11:35 PM

Poster11 is completely nuts

Father Flannigan July 31, 2014 at 11:55 PM

It’s abuse when you are too mean and abuse when you are too nice.

1960's Paging#11 Paging#11 Paging#11 August 1, 2014 at 12:12 AM

Speed Kills.
SO sayeth Canned Heat

This is a song with a message…

Enjoy the groove
The Urban Spacemen

Sam Y August 1, 2014 at 12:51 AM

Does anyone know if this is the same Joey Martin that went to Pacheco Elem and his dad was our music teacher???

The Realist August 1, 2014 at 2:06 AM

Is he creepy? Yup. Is he guilty? We’ll have to see more evidence.
I say check the parents background, they might be using their children to get a payout from the school district when hearing rumours about this guy.
Anything is possible nowadays, parenting skills have seems to diminish noticably in the almost 4 decades I;ve been alive.

anon August 1, 2014 at 7:12 AM

What if the dude is innocent? What if a kid or two wanted to retaliate?

Oh, none of that matters to the Pitchfork brigade!

Someone Who Understands the Legal System August 1, 2014 at 7:59 AM

This is the United States of America. You are innocent until proven guilty.

Unless you have intimate details of this case, and can prove his guilt as such, STFU until the trial is over and the jury has delivered a verdict.

anon August 1, 2014 at 8:15 AM

“including a lack of a strong male role model ”

Nice job should not have had children if you can’t raise them right as they look for other males…………

@The Realist (un-realist) August 1, 2014 at 9:19 AM

You must be smoking some crack this morning. If you read through the entire post, you would have noted that this sick creature was accused of 150 counts sof lewd conduct, and arrested for such behavior last year. Not to mention that he admitted he did indeed kiss and grope his students in an inappropriate way. And even wrote several notes to confirm his behavior. When you have a creature like this who is a repeat offender, these crimes are mostlikely true. He is no different than Charles Mozdir and should no doubt end up suffering the same fate.

For you to blame parents for conspiring against a teacher for some financial payout shows how truly demented you may actually be. And even if your wild conspiracy theories were indeed true those parents would be facing criminal charges for making false accusations. So why would those parents even consider taking that risk, let alone putting their children in that situation???

Some of your posters on here….

Tom August 1, 2014 at 10:07 AM

#19, I believe in innocent until proven guilty, but not with PEDOPHILES.

If you give child molesters the benefit of the doubt, you’re putting all children at risk.

I’ve never met a PEDOPHILE, but they make my blood boil. I don’t hide it.

I see right through these master manipulators, and I’m not buying their act.

If you want to make excuses for him, that’s your business. People are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. is not a court of law. It’s a blog, and a darn good one!

Anon August 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Rot in Hell Martin. Rot In Hell.

Anon August 1, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Schools hire jamooks like this and not hire me, with a Masters in Education and some teaching experience,

Cat Wrangler August 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Taking photos of shirtless students?

Lifting shirt of students and touching and/or patting their chest?

Giving a student a kiss on the cheek?

Handing out surveys and asking students to complete them and discuss their unresolved issues with him privately?

These are not the acts of a professional and compassionate educator. These are the acts of a sociopathic pedophile.

Silva August 1, 2014 at 12:37 PM

I do like to reserve my judgement about cases I know nothing or very little about, but I’ve heard enough here from the defendant’s words to know that this man cannot be near children.

What security August 1, 2014 at 1:21 PM

How convenient surround yourself around children

In 1977, Sandusky founded The Second Mile, a non-profit charity serving Pennsylvania underprivileged and at-risk youth.

We just need to have Robots teach our children on Ipads

Veronica August 1, 2014 at 1:31 PM

He’s an effing pervert, do you think a child would just allow something like that if the consequences weren’t understood…and then continue to do it over and over and over again!!! Parents listen to your children, they really know when something isn’t right.

One of the Parents of Martins Students August 1, 2014 at 3:13 PM

My daughter was in his class up until the time he was arrested… she told me details and names of the kids involved after he was arrested… the kids are telling the truth!!! the only reason they didn’t come foward was because he came into the room after they accused him and the principal JENNY CRONAN who is now at Oak Grove Middle School allowed him to corner and confront his classrooms accusers …. he had them put their heads down and told them to raise their hand if they felt he touched them unappropriated… number 1 that was like duck duck goose for a pedophile and number 2 how is that right….lets say an old lady gets her house broken into.. the purpose of a line up is so the accused can be identified without the victim having to be seen… (IE TWO WAY MIRRORS)… that was wrong of the principal and I hope she burns in hell… my daughter is forever effected and now we have to deal with the emotional aftermath….he spoon feed whip cream in the children’s mouths and had them pose.. ASK YOURSELF WHEN HAVE YOU EVER HAD A TEACHER DO THAT TO YOU IN YOUR LIFETIME… I cant change the emotional suffering that my daughter has seen with these kids confiding in her when their conversations should have been of middle school.. and what they want to be when they grow up… my daughter still gets teased when people find out she went to Woodside.. and as a parent its painful.. but with time with heal!! justice will be served

Cowellian August 1, 2014 at 4:16 PM

If you really think he’s innocent until proven guilty, you understand neither the concept of guilt and innocence, nor the Constitution. He’s innocent only if he didn’t do it.

J August 2, 2014 at 12:28 AM

From the what i hear so far i dont think hes guilty.

Mary August 2, 2014 at 6:54 AM

I’m not sure if this guy is guilty if all of the charges here or not, but he is at least inappropriate, and unfit for teaching and working with kids. At the least, he has no understanding of personal space, the power and responsibility of his position in a classroom. He, at least, should be fired and never teach again.

At the worst, he is a sexual predator who should be locked up and never see the light of day again.

At this point, I don’t know which it is, but he needs to go away and never have an opportunity to work or be with children again.

Justice August 2, 2014 at 9:56 AM

I reead many things on here and this one just got my blood boiling!

anon August 2, 2014 at 12:31 PM

@justice—-welcome to the internet

I'm The Urban Spaceman August 2, 2014 at 11:51 PM

A few (34)of the charges have been dropped.*
(aka: she’s only a little bit pregnant)
This is sad for all involved.

*Out of a total of 150 charges

Truth13 August 3, 2014 at 4:30 AM

For those who have interacted with Mr Martin and think he is innocent of any wrong doing let’s clarify a few things. His actions to most of you seem suspicious and lack boundaries. He has touched boys and only boys under their shirts. He has photographed boys and sometimes the boys are shirtless. He has shown a propensity to care to much, this includes a kiss on the cheek and manipulation. Of course some of his past students I would even say a majority he left alone because he knew through careful observations that he would not be allowed to proceed with this behavior because you would tell immediately. He is an educated man and he absolutely does not want to be caught or prosecuted. He even researched post charges to see if hand to skin chest rubbing was deemed inappropriate. I mean his own actions and description were so odd he even doubted his behavior. Think back to your own childhood when did a teacher ever reach under your shirt to rub your chest or even inquire about taking shirtless photos? He displays the classic signs of pedophilia manipulation and I ask you all if your child came home with just the facts that Mr Martiin described in court would you not be furious and would you not demand he never taught again? His behavior is not the norm and his actions definitely fit the section decscribed in lewd and lascivious acts against children.

Not Perfect August 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Really hating that Jenny Cronan, aren’t you? Wasnt she new to the school that year? Wasn’t hers the administration that called the police and took action? …after apparently greater than 7 years of rumors? Are you crazy? No one did a thing for these students until her administration called the police. That means no one – not one parent, not one child, not anyone on staff of the previous administration.

Clearly your anger is misdirected. I wonder what you are really ticked off about. Perhaps you feel guilty that you hadn’t taken action yourself…right? Because you didn’t do anything, did you? You didn’t. And neither did the previous administrative staff nor the rest of the parents and teachers.

Stop. Just stop.

ENOUGH WITH THE SICKOS. August 3, 2014 at 10:55 AM

I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. Almost every time I turn on the local news, I hear about another pedophile in our school system. How can we stand back and let these things happen to our children? I am so sorry for the innocent kids affected by the actions of this monster. Where were the guardians of these boys when they were going over to this creep’s house?

LET’S MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF HIM. WE OBVIOUSLY NEED HARSHER PENALTIES FOR CHILD SEXUAL PREDATORS WHO WORK IN A CLASSROOM, A DAYCARE SETTING, OR HAVE A POSITION OF AUTHORITY OVER CHILDREN. These people choose their professions for the sole purpose of being closer to the objects of their sick and selfish sexual desire. SICK BASTARD. Whether he did more to the boys or not, his admitted-to behaviors in court were completely inappropriate and shed light on his true intentions.

Anonmom August 3, 2014 at 11:12 AM

#38 and #39, you have clearly hit the nail on the head.

ghskj August 4, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Sam Y, Yes, I believe it is! Previous articles have stated his parents were teachers and his father was a music teacher.

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