CONCORD -- A 13-year-old boy and his parents on Thursday filed the fourth claim against the Mt. Diablo school district, becoming the 12th alleged victim of former Woodside Elementary teacher Joseph Martin to file legal papers involving the Concord instructor criminally charged with 125 felony molestation counts.
The boy, who graduated from the school in June 2011, spent his final year at the Concord school in Martin's fifth-grade class. Initially reticent to talk, the boy eventually told his parents Martin would massage him down his shirt and fondle his groin while holding a book over his lap in class, the claim alleges.
"In the course of the sexual abuse, Martin would often say comments such as, 'I love you,' to the (boy)," the claim alleges. "He would ask the (boy) inappropriate questions, such as 'which parent hugs you more?'"
The boy's account is consistent with what other boys have alleged in the previous civil claims, including one civil rights lawsuit. Martin in July pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing 13 former students since he began working in the district in 1991. He remains in custody and faces life in prison if convicted.
The latest boy to file a claim also alleges at least 11 current and former district officials failed to report earlier suspicions of child abuse by Martin. According to a police report cited in a separate claim, in 2006 a Mt. Diablo internal district probe found "potential child abuse" at the hands of Martin; however, no one ever contacted police or Child Protective Services as required by law. Instead, according to that claim, the district added new restrictions to Martin's work behavior.
This newspaper has filed a lawsuit against the district to get access to such documents after a public records request was denied.
An email seeking comment from the district's general counsel was not immediately returned.
The district has begun discussing the mounting litigation during the closed-session portions of its board meetings.
Contact Matthias Gafni at 925-952-5026. Follow him at Twitter.com/mgafni.