No Criminal Charges For Former Concord Principal in Connection With Teacher's Alleged Abuse

The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office has decided not to file criminal charges against a former Concord elementary school principal accused of failing to contact police after receiving reports of possible sexual misconduct by teacher Joseph Martin.

Former Woodside Elementary School principal Jennifer Sachs will not face criminal charges for her handling of Martin's alleged abuse of multiple students in 2006.

District officials conducted an internal investigation into the allegations in 2006 but never reported the suspected abuse to authorities, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Nancy Georgiou.

Martin was arrested last June and has since been charged with 150 felony counts stemming from the alleged molestation of 14 current and former students, according to the district attorney's office. He remains in county jail in Martinez and is awaiting trial, which is set for May 27.

According to a Concord police report, Sachs oversaw Martin in 2006 and received multiple complaints from other teachers about his alleged inappropriate conduct toward students but failed to report the allegations to police or Child Protective Services.

But prosecutors said in a statement that the statute of limitations for failure to report is one year, making Sachs ineligible for prosecution.

In addition, according to a statement from the district attorney's office, there is "insufficient evidence to prove Ms. Sachs intentionally knew, or harbored reasonable suspicion, of abuse by Mr. Martin of his students in 2006."

Sachs, who is now an administrator with Pittsburg Unified School District, could not immediately be reached for comment.

District Attorney Mark Peterson met with several school superintendents at a Contra Costa County Office of Education meeting on Thursday to discuss a proposal to provide comprehensive training for school staff to ensure they are aware of their state-mandated responsibility to report suspected child abuse.

Superintendents from the Brentwood Union, Martinez Unified and Moraga school districts volunteered to take part in the fledgling program, according to the county education office.

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