MARTINEZ -- A March 17 trial date has been scheduled for a former Concord elementary schoolteacher charged with molesting 13 male students between 2006 and last spring.

Joseph Martin, 45, of Martinez, pleaded not guilty Monday to 125 felony charges alleging sex crimes against his former fourth and fifth grade students at Woodside Elementary School. Martin waived preliminary hearing on the charges and was ordered to trial last month.

Martin had worked for the Mt. Diablo school district for 22 years before he was arrested on suspicion of child molestation in June.

Two families have filed claims and a third has filed a federal lawsuit against the district, all alleging that the district failed to protect Martin's students by not notifying police about complaints against him.

Martin faces life in prison if convicted as charged. He remains in County Jail in lieu of $10 million bail.

Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.



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