MARTINEZ (CBS SF) — A Concord elementary school teacher pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 91 felony charges stemming from the alleged sexual abuse of 11 current and former students, a prosecutor said.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office has charged 45-year-old Joseph Andrew Martin with crimes including 81 counts of lewd and lascivious acts against a child under 14.

The charges are based on an eight-week investigation into the longtime Woodside Elementary School teacher, Concord police said.

He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges in a Martinez courtroom Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Derek Butts said.

Police said detectives served search warrants last Thursday at his Martinez home and at his classroom, where the alleged acts are believed to have occurred.

He was arrested at his home on Thursday and is being held in county jail on $10 million bail, Butts said.

The investigation was prompted by a student who claimed in April to have been inappropriately touched by Martin, police said.

Police said Martin was placed on administrative leave from Woodside Elementary School while the investigation was carried out.

Martin has been employed by the Mt. Diablo Unified School District since 1991, according to police.

He is set to return to court on July 18.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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