Huffpost Crime

Todd Hoffner, Minnesota College Football Coach, Cleared Of Child Porn Charges

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AP
AP

A college football coach accused of creating child pornography has insisted for months that the videos found on his cell phone were innocent films of his children acting "silly."

On Friday, the court dropped charges against 46-year-old Todd Hoffner, who had been suspended from his job at Minnesota State-Mankato after his arrest in August, USA Today Sports reports.

The 46-year-old had taken his malfunctioning, University-issued Blackberry to be repaired, and the technician discovered three videos featuring Hoffner's children, ages 5, 8, and 9, naked or partially clothed.

Hoffner was charged with one count of using minors in a sexual performance or pornographic work and one count of possessing child pornography.

Hoffner and his wife stated that the child pornography charges were ridiculous, saying the videos are completely innocent films of his three children acting "silly," laughing and dancing, after a bath.

He testified in October that the children had come downstairs in towels after their baths and asked him to videotape them, and that he never directed them or even watched the video after he had filmed it.

"I felt in my core this was not child pornography," defense attorney Jim Fleming told USA Today Sports. "Once I saw the videos, it was: You have got to be kidding me."

Investigators who searched his computer found no child pornography.

In her ruling dismissing the case against Hoffner, Blue Earth County District Court Krista Jass wrote that "The videos under consideration here contain nude images of Defendant's minor children dancing and acting playful after a bath. That is all they contain."

Just because charges have been dropped, however, doesn't mean Hoffner automatically gets his job back. University spokesman Dan Benson told USA Today that Hoffner "remains on administrative leave" and that there is a "pending university investigation."

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