Concord: Former Woodside Elementary Teacher Found Not Guilty in Child Molestation Case

August 14, 2014 16:09 pm · 68 comments


A Concord elementary school teacher was acquitted today of molestation charges involving three former students and a Contra Costa County Superior Court jury deadlocked on counts involving nearly a dozen others.

Joseph Martin, 46, a longtime teacher at Concord’s Woodside Elementary School, was arrested in the spring of 2013 following a parent’s report that he had inappropriately touched her son.

Prosecutors eventually charged Martin with molesting 14 of his former students.

The jury read the verdict in a Martinez courtroom this afternoon, finding Martin not guilty of charges involving three students and deadlocking on charges involving 11 others.


What security August 14, 2014 at 4:12 PM


Jess August 14, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Okay, the jury has spoken. He is not guilty and we should stop discussing this any further. Since he is not guilty his record is clean and he should therefore be allowed to resume teaching. Right?

Or has the court of public opinion found him guilty and therefore not able to be a teacher any longer? Kind of unfair to this individual, don’t you think? August 14, 2014 at 4:17 PM

He can still go back to trial if the D.A. decides to retry him on the deadlocked counts. A case could probably be made that another trial would constitute Double Jeopardy August 14, 2014 at 4:21 PM


Skyscraper August 14, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Not Guilty…the show’s over, move along.

Jess August 14, 2014 at 4:28 PM

The question is whether the D.A.’s office will bother retrying the deadlocked counts. If the jury found him not guilty on 3 charges and deadlocked on the others, then perhaps they have an indication the case isn’t strong enough.

At that point it becomes a question of whether they should expend further cost and time in retrying or just move on. My guess would be that’s the end of it.

Cat August 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM

It doesn’t matter. He can be found completely innocent and his career is still over.

Renee August 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

I personally know someone he did this to. He’s guilty. He doesnt deserve a break. He deserves jail. Just because the court says he isn’t guilty doesnt mean he didn’t do it.

Cat August 14, 2014 at 4:33 PM

It’s not double jeopardy to retry him on the 11 counts that resulted in a hung jury. Double jeopardy would only attach on the three counts that he was acquitted of. August 14, 2014 at 4:35 PM

@Cat, I didn’t say that, it was somebody responding to what I said about a possible retrial.

Teacher Wannabe August 14, 2014 at 4:34 PM

@Jess. Totally agree with you. False accusations will follow him forever. May be able to teach in another district, but will forever be branded in MDUSD. So sad.

Curious August 14, 2014 at 4:35 PM

I’d like to read the details of the case and why he was acquitted. Where can I find them?

Hysteria August 14, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Oh gee did parents overact and feed their kids BS lines so that they could join in on the witch hunt? Seems like they should be the ones on trial… Mass hysteria at it’s finest…

PhilthyPHRESH August 14, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Even though these charges are sickening, glad to see anybody get found not guilty.

Tom August 14, 2014 at 4:38 PM


I hope the DA decides to retry him on the deadlocked charges.

Children will never get justice in a court of law. They’re not taxpayers, nor are they eligible to vote.

Sadly, most judges and lawyers are parents. So are most jurors.

I hope these jurors sleep well tonight. Especially those who are tucking their young children into bed.

Tom August 14, 2014 at 4:43 PM

I can’t speak for Cat, but I believe Cat is responding to #4, not the Mayor, which would be #3.

Emotions are running high……….

Doctor J August 14, 2014 at 4:48 PM

The number of jurors in favor of guilty will have a big impact on the DA decision as whether to retry Martin.

RanchgirlCA August 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM

I’d pull my kid out of any school where this man teaches.

Get a new career August 14, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Maybe they determined the touching wasn’t criminal, but I would venture to say if that many kids came forward, he has no business teaching. Illegal or not, touching your students is still inappropriate.

Chris August 14, 2014 at 5:12 PM

lol @ butthurt people above complaining. BUT BUT THINK OF THE CHILDREN.


Doctor J August 14, 2014 at 5:14 PM

What is the status of his teaching credential ? Takes a PC to look it up. What is his status of employment with MDUSD ? Was he released from custody ?

Mark August 14, 2014 at 5:21 PM

I am stunned.

Jesse August 14, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Interesting. I guess the DA’s office will interview the jurors to find out what they thought of the case. I’d think that would figure heavily into their decision on whether or not to retry him.

I only know what I read in the paper, but my impression was that what he did was creepy and inappropriate and he should find a different line of work. But did it rise to the level of sending him to prison for decades? I’m not sure it did. It’s a tough case. I’m glad I wasn’t on the jury. In any case, his teaching career is over. No school district will hire him. I don’t know his status with MDUSD, but I’m sure they won’t let him back in a classroom.

Woodside Parent August 14, 2014 at 5:25 PM

One possible scenario is that once the case was filed a few families jumped on the bandwagon for many possible reasons, the most obvious to get in on suing the school district or perhaps a drunk dad simply did not like his wife talking about the eye candy that was Mr. Joe Martin. (Even though as a self professed professional flirt he never responded to me! 🙂 The jury simply eliminated those families. Those bandwagon testimonies confused the jurors. DA will do re-trial with new Jury and true victims. Justice must be served for the sake of the true victims and any future plights. At least….that is what I am praying for.

Tom August 14, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Jesse, I wasn’t on the jury either, so I don’t know why they came to their decision.

What I do know is they found child pornography on his computer. A forensic analyst also found questions like “What do they do to child molesters in prison?” Also, “Can police see what I’ve been searching on the internet?”

If you have child pornography on your computer, you’re a pedophile.

I have a lot of “sports searches.” I’m a sports fan.

Elwood August 14, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Stand by for Martin’s lawsuit in 3,2,1–

Chris K August 14, 2014 at 5:40 PM

We do “not” have a perfect system by any means. Guilty go free and innocent got to prison , sometimes. But it is the best we can do. However, like OJ, the Jury spoke, and he is a free man. And innocent. Truly guilty or not, I think this should teach us all, innocent until proven guilty in America. And to not jump to conclusions or try him in the media, in comments. Or want to put him in a woodchipper. Maybe he was innocent. All I am saying is, read the articles carefully. Newspapers and Claycord does not use the word ” Suspect” or ” Accused” for nothing. It means just what it says it means, that it has yet to be proven in court beyond a shadow of a doubt. And that old saying, ” I’d rather 1000 guilty for free than one innocent man be hung..??” Or words to that effect.. And I have to agree. So who knows. But someone blew it. You look bad as a prosecutor when this happens, wasting a lot of money, time and resources trying a person who is found innocent by the jury. But what if. What if he is innocent. As said above he is ruined most likely. So also I think the media and public should cool it with names and photos, until found guilty? Or something? Not sure what.. Tough call. Because lives are ruined, people are framed. And innocent do get arrested and charged, sometimes… Even are convicted, and right now there are at least a few on death row completely innocent of the charges. I will bet you there are a percent. Can you imagine that. Talk about being in a bad movie. : (

Anon August 14, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Terrible, all these kids were not lying.

Reporter August 14, 2014 at 5:53 PM

I was in downtown Martinez and listened to the press interview the defense attorney and Mrs. Martin. Attorney talked about how it’s all basically mass hysteria but that he doesn’t think Martin should go back to teaching, at least not at the elementary school level. Said in this day and age it’s more dangerous for a man to be an elementary school teacher than a Navy SEAL.

Marissa August 14, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Unbelievable! I hope they revoke his teaching credentials!

Pervert August 14, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Know him, his parents, and his brother. Either an egomaniac or just perverse. Or both? Inappropriate touching should be punished with jail time.

sam August 14, 2014 at 6:04 PM

“Suspicion, they have written songs about it”… this was a quote from some movie. I was well acquainted with a high school track coach that mentioned to me, that he discontinued giving kids hugs, for such an action could be misinterpreted causing some to jump to the wrong conclusion. Most assuradly, we can never be lacadasical in standing steadfast, in safeguarding the welfare of all innocent and vulnerable life; please, never hesitate to immediately file a police report, regarding any FACTUAL incident, warranting maticulous police scrutiny; filing a police report will launch a thorough investigation, to bear out all the verifiable and mitigating facts of any case.

Chris August 14, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Looks like Mr. Martin got “off” again

Suzie August 14, 2014 at 6:25 PM

@woodside parent “eye candy”??? You need glasses. He ooks like a straight up perve to me!

Wicked Witch of the West August 14, 2014 at 6:26 PM

This just proves what I suspected all along. Children should never be trusted. They are evil spawns of Satan and will say and do anything to usurp authority.

Aspirin August 14, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Respect the verdict. Unless you personally observed the entire trial your opinion means nothing.

MtzMama August 14, 2014 at 7:03 PM

I am absolutely appalled. This man deserves to rot in prison for a minimum of 10 years for what he HAS DONE. It was proven that he TOUCHED males, had child porn on his computer, typed in “can the police see what I’ve searched online”, had a history of attraction to young boys, got caught IN THE FRICKIN closet with one BY A MDUSD teacher, of which the principal KNEW OF and more. Our judicial system is a frickin joke. He should NEVER be able to be around children again. The fact that he was retained in prison while pending trial with an astronomical bail amount obviously suggests that law enforcement and judicial system KNEW he was guilty. So what if some of the testimonies got skewed, stories confused. THE FACT REMAINS THAT HE TOUCHED NUMEROUS BOYS AND IT WAS PROVEN. Just because he didn’t have sexual relations with them does not mean HE DID NOT MOLEST THEM. Touching, grooming and FINDING HIM IN A CLOSET with a male student MEANS HE IS GUILTY. And MDUSD should pay a high price for THEIR role in COVERING his tracks since 2006. The whole thing is a SICK, PERVERSE JOKE. I surely do hope there is another trial and that in the next one trying MDUSD that the staff involved are held accountable and GO DOWN. The whole district is a MESS and always has been but in the last two years, it’s gotten to the point of people moving out of district, constant lawsuits and unethical practices district wide. I wish for ONCE AND FOR ALL the district would collapse and be as others: 5-10 schools per district, not frickin 32!!!!! Corrupt, unjust system: the district as well as the judicial system. My heart goes out to all of the children who were so traumatically violated and to their parents for having to undergo such trauma to work thru with them. Karma will prevail and it’s not going to be pretty for this guy, one way or another.

instagramma August 14, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Saw the interview on TV. He’s in custody until Sept 8th. Where upon there is a hearing, I suppose to allow the Court time to determine his status

Schmee August 14, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Creepy guy. Case wasn’t strong enough for “definition of molestation” I guess (another of Mr Martins Pre trial google searches). Lots of wasted man hours with nothing to show for all that investigating.

It took a pure belief of innocence on his part to go to trial (or his lawyer was really confident). I guess with 100 counts the plea deal would not have looked good. I would love to be a fly on the wall with the DA as they assembled the case and now that they failed to present a strong enough case. Do they not think they jury “saw it like they saw it?”

Voice Of Reason August 14, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Some of you belong back in the days of witch hunts or lynchings…..The DA will not be having a new trial, and if he does, he should have to pay for it himself instead of using MY hard earned taxpayer dollars…..They completely blew these charges out of proportion….was his behavior ‘crossing the line’? or even ‘creepy’? Yes, perhaps Martin is naive, or dumb not to understand the appropriate teacher/student behavior…but were his actions enough to charge the man with 150 counts of molestation?? According to the jury, no. And on the counts where it was a hung jury, the jury was deadlocked at 9 votes not guilty to 3 votes guilty….so the DA will never retry this case…were Martin’s actions enough where he should have been fired? Maybe, but that’s a lot different than facing life in prison when he never was even accused of touching any ‘private parts’…..feel free to not want him teaching in your schools, but respect the 12 unbiased jurors who gave their time for a 2 month trial. Perhaps someone should investigate the Gossip Queen teacher (everyone there knows who it is) who first spread all the rumors in the first place….and yes, most of those ‘victim families’ have lawsuits pending….this mans career is ruined and he’s spent more than a year in jail…Some people are so quick to judge.

Woodside Parent August 14, 2014 at 7:39 PM

@Suzie – you never met him in person and so you don’t know. The media pics are always terrible. He was physically fit and showed it off and what Room-Mommy with the hubby with the beer belly and farts in this world would not appreciate that. It’s one of the reasons he was considered gay as far as rumors go. VERY well pedicured and well kept 😉
@MtzMomma- I hear you and believe the same. This is NOT over.

A friend of Mr Martin. August 14, 2014 at 7:40 PM

The newspapers gave exaggerated accounts that skewed in favor of the prosecution. Did you think a reporter would ever write good news about someone that everyone is determined to hate?
I always knew he was not guilty, in spite of the venom poured out by everyone else.

Elwood August 14, 2014 at 8:01 PM

@ Chris K #28

Martin was not found innocent. There is no such verdict in law.

He was found not guilty.

There’s a world of difference.

SKS August 14, 2014 at 8:32 PM

NOT GUILTY… just like OJ Simpson.

Drake August 14, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Crying about the balance of karma makes me laugh; if that’s the case, there’s a lot of you who should look both ways before a karma runs you down.

Woodside Parent August 14, 2014 at 9:10 PM

For the record we are not part of this. My kids were too homely to even receive a back rub!

Suzie August 14, 2014 at 9:20 PM

@woodside parent, how the heck do you know I’ve never met him, let alone seen him in public school events? You sure are defending him, saying “what room-mommy” wouldn’t appreciate that? You’re sick and need to stop fantasizing about Mr. Martin.

Justin August 14, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Look at all the people howling for blood. The guy went through the system you all revere so much. Now you ‘know’ he did it and ignore the verdict.

Move along and find a new torch to burn.

Woodside Parent August 14, 2014 at 9:39 PM

@Suzie, relax, I think he is guilty. But part of his Motive of Operation was to be a stud to the Mommies. I feel duped. If you could please read my above comments maybe it would make sense. August 14, 2014 at 10:58 PM




Jason August 14, 2014 at 11:00 PM

I wonder how long it will be before one of the victims father gets their own justice.

Suzie August 14, 2014 at 11:25 PM

@woodside parent, LOL

Claycordian August 15, 2014 at 3:34 AM

OMG @ Woodside Parent

Are you a desperate mommie or what? My three kids went to Woodside. My daughter was in Mr. Martins class and I kept my sons far, far away from him & his creepy vibe.

And all of the desperate moms so ready to wet themselves over Mr Martin when maybe they should have been paying much more attention to what was going on with their kids.

Chris K August 15, 2014 at 4:25 AM

@Elwood. “Not Guilty” or “Found Innocent of all charges”, There is Not a world of difference. Sorry. But as said, we do not have a perfect system. Guilty go free sometimes. And visa versa. But can you imagine? Being a victim, knowing the truth, and having them go free? Or also visa versa? But, just imo, we have to respect the verdict. Like with OK, which many people followed more closely.. And still found him guilty.. I think he was. Of a double murder. But seen him golfing, laughing it up on gold courses, ( looking for the real killer in Florida ) all those years. So yes, it sucks sometimes.
I could tell you a story though, of a man who in the midst of a divorce was accused of molesting his kids. It was ugly, and he was eventually found “not guilty” And was, as both his kids later said their mother coached them. But 5 years of his life with his two kids was destroyed, with only supervised visits the last year until the truth came out. It was Nasty divorce/custody battle, and very close to home for us is all I will say. So I am very careful to always pint out the “accused” part of an article, the ” suspect” wording, so people don’t judge too quickly.. Which they do anyway. But, we must resect the court findings imo. Like it or not. Some lives are forever ruined by false charges. And as I said, sometimes they are not false, and someone gets away with murder. Just comes with having this type of justice system. Hang them all, then yes, no guilty will go free. Do you wan that?
I am just sorry for those victims who’s victimizer did go free. Happens. And also sorry for the innocent , even charged with this horrendous crime… Their lives are ruined. Careers.. It is just sad.

Chris K August 15, 2014 at 4:26 AM

Also I have to say, quit judging this case by that photo. Looks say nothing of if someone is a scum bag for not. Nothing. You would Love Ted Bundy. Probably even vote for him for Mayor.

Sally Morse August 15, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Hey VOICE OF REASON comment above #41 – This site is not to bully or instigate bad behavior against fellow citizens. Your comments are ignorant and clearly you were not personally involved and have only the knowledge the media feeds you. I would appreciate you shut your pie hole. If your child was violated by Martin you would not say the things you say. Regardless of the verdict our community has 14 new victims to help understand why they received no justice.

I'm sorry for the boys August 15, 2014 at 8:59 AM

who were felt up; rubbed against, and/or hugged inappropriately, no one should ever be subjected to innapropriate touching in any case, least of all a child by an authority figure, but as a child I survived a violent rape by a stranger. I bet these kids will be able to overcome this experience without lifelong PTSD or severe depression like I’ve got, and Martin won’t be able to teach in this country again.

Vandy August 15, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Sounds like a bunch of parents just got together and ruined a mans career because he crossed a vague moral line. I say vague because he was found not guilty in a court of law while parents insist that his actions are synonymous with sexual assault. Hopefully these parents will feel some degree of justice is served since he’ll never teach again.

woodside elementary student August 15, 2014 at 1:20 PM

I had him n never saw him do anything and just cause he has a “weird” vibe he’s a molester the verdict has spoken he was found not guilty stop and think todays society is really messed up. There might be a possible chance that the parents could have fed everything to there children to say in court. But the verdict is spoken so let this all sink in for everyone and then lets all move on with our lives.

Poor grammar August 15, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Remember it wasn’t that long ago that teachers and principals and elementary schools paddle, spank children. So the act touching ones shoulder or his or her back, being viewed as a criminal act seems absurd.

anonymous August 15, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I am so happy to see this witchhunt is over! There has never been a more twisted way of handling false accusations as this! Elementary school teachers hug and touch their students. At least the ones that are there for the love of the children do. My son is high functioning autistic, spectrum, and touch from his teacher has made such a posative difference in his comfort zone at school. He was in Mr. Martin’s class for reading and never felt awkward or observed anything he thought was strange. I have never encountered a more popular, more loved teacher than Mr. Joseph Martin. The real shame is, how many future students will never experience this kind of teacher!

anonymous August 15, 2014 at 3:58 PM

And… since when is touching a boy above the belt molestation? The majority of sheeple here are just useless gossips that really need to get a life in the real world. My god… think about this entire case and you should clearly see how it started (with a jealous teacher the students didn’t want), and escaladed to this travesty for him, his family and the poor kids coerced by their parents to lie!

badmedia August 15, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Hey Sally, victims of what exactly?

Pharmy Fashion August 15, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Dear Aspirin,it is obvious that you don’t have a traumatized victim of a pedophile like M.M.,just think to be in the shoes of the victims and their families, THEY ARE SUFFERING!!!

Cvhs mom August 16, 2014 at 9:07 PM

The state and courts have never taken child molestation serious,thats why they all have many counts before they actually get put in jail for a few months.Life sentences for repeat drug offenders and slaps on the wrist for taking the souls of our children.When they finally get put in jail they get protective custody which is like having your own bodyguards.Shoul be a mandatory life sentence for one count,that childs life is forever changed and many times they never get over that trauma. Good job contra costa give him his job back so he can get back to his child porn sites.

Jesse August 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM

The Contra Costa Times has an interesting article on its website about the trial. It asks the question when is a touch on a boy’s bare chest considered a “bad” touch? It points out that most parents tell their children that no one is allowed to touch their private parts, which includes what is normally covered by a bathing suit. That definition does not include the chest, which is not generally considered an erogenous zone. A touch on the chest is most often innocent and is not considered child molestation most of the time. It only becomes child molestation if the intent is for sexual gratification. The prosecutor in the Martin trial had to prove that Martin was touching the boys’ chests for the purpose of sexual gratification. That’s tough to prove. Clearly the prosecution in this case was not successful in convincing the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that these touches were for sexual gratification and were not innocent touches.

Silva August 17, 2014 at 5:57 AM

The one and only time I remember being touched in any way by a teacher was when one yanked me out of my desk chair by my ponytail when I wasn’t paying attention.

happy August 17, 2014 at 3:08 PM

no guilty, for the justice , but he will find the justice of god.

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