Reporting Bill Hudson
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In the law offices of the attorney who will defend her husband, Melodee Hoffner stood firm as she spoke of the shock at his arrest.
The wife of Minnesota State University-Mankato head football coach, Todd Hoffner, called the images on his university-issued cell phone nothing more than, “family videos.”
Melodee Hoffner met reporters on Monday and said, “I hope that someone with authority will take a new look at this and see it for what it is. Innocent videos of typical kids being silly.”
The 46-year-old Hoffner is charged with two felony counts of taking explicit videos of the couple’s three children — ages 9, 8 and 5.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Blue Earth County District Court, in one video the children drop towels to reveal their naked bodies. They dance around before two of the kids bend over and expose their buttocks.
Another video shows a child entering the room wearing nothing but a football helmet.
“My family does what every family does — we take videos and pictures of our kids in all their craziness,” she said. “My husband and I would never abuse our children or any other children.”
County Attorney Ross Arneson declined to comment on the wife’s characterization of the videos. But in town, some residents fear what they describe as a “rush to judgment.”
“How many parents haven’t taken a picture of a child something less than fully clothed?” said Pat Forbes.
Others reason that if the phone video is the state’s only evidence against coach Hoffner, he would be guilty of poor judgment, but probably not child pornography.