Victims' Mother Discusses Trial Against Concord Teacher Accused of Molesting Children

Several victims in the case of a Concord elementary school teacher accused of molesting 14 former students have filed civil suits against the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.

The suits claim teachers reported concerns about Joseph Martin's behavior with his students in 2006. But school officials did not call police or report it to child protective services.

Meanwhile, the trial against Martin is underway. He faces 150 counts of sexual abuse of former students at Woodside Elementary School, where he taught fifth and sixth grade.

Parent Tina Jones is attending Martin's trial. Jones said Martin taught two of her boys in the fifth grade. He was a favorite teacher and became a family friend.

"I gave him all our baby clothes. He would send treats, baked goods home," Jones said. "He always would make my son come to the classroom and pick them up."

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.

Police also contacted the Jones family during the investigation. Jones said investigators talked to two of her boys.

"Through the course of those interviews, 20 plus felony counts came out for both my children," she said.

Martin 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.

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

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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