Most of the charges filed against a Concord elementary school teacher who was initially accused of inappropriately touching more than a dozen former students have been dropped, his defense attorney said today. Joseph Martin, 46, will now be re-tried on 22 child molestation counts after the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office dismissed more than 70 remaining counts against him following an August mistrial, attorney Patrick Clancy said.
The Martinez resident and former Woodside Elementary School teacher was initially charged with 150 counts of lewd and lascivious acts against 14 male former students. The alleged acts including rubbing boys’ bare chests and other inappropriate touching, according to prosecutors.
The longtime teacher was arrested in June 2013 after a student came forward to report the alleged acts. A trial earlier this year led to a jury deadlocking on 95 of the counts against Martin and acquitting him of 21 counts.
He remains in custody in lieu of $10 million bail. But prosecutors have since dropped 73 of the remaining counts against him, leaving 22 counts involving eight purported victims, Clancy said. “It has definitely made our case stronger than it was,” he said of the amended complaint against Martin. “Every count that gets dropped is good news,” he said. Deputy District Attorney Derek Butts, who is set to re-try the case, was not immediately available for comment.
Opening statements in the case could begin as soon as this Friday or next Monday, Clancy said. The attorney said Martin’s continued incarceration has been extremely difficult on the former teacher’s family both financially and emotionally but it is prepared to return to court.
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