Crime

No Child Porn Found On Minn. Coach’s Computer

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(credit: Blue Earth County Jail)

(credit: Blue Earth County Jail)

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MANKATO, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — Investigators found no evidence of child pornography on computers taken from the home of a Minnesota football coach accused of having nude videos of his children on his cellphone, authorities said Friday.

Minnesota State, Mankato coach Todd Hoffner was charged with two child pornography counts after three videos of his children were found on his work-issued cellphone when he took it to the university for service.

His attorney and wife have publicly rejected the charges as ridiculous, saying the videos simply captured the family’s children being silly.

Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Capt. Rich Murry said Friday a search of computers taken from the Hoffner home found “no additional items that would be considered child pornography.” The information was being forwarded to the county attorney’s office.

Hoffner’s attorney, James Fleming, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment about the findings, nor did prosecutor Mike Hanson.

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

Hoffner was escorted off the football practice field after the videos were found. He remains on leave pending a university investigation.

At a hearing earlier Friday, Fleming pressed for greater access to the cellphone videos, saying he needed them to mount his defense. Fleming has seen the images but has to go to the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department to view them — with officials looking over his shoulder.

Blue Earth District Court Judge Krista Jass took that request under advisement.

Fleming told The Associated Press earlier Friday the videos are not child pornography but include images of Hoffner’s children behaving “silly” after a bath.

According to an affidavit filed by authorities seeking a warrant to search backup files from Hoffner’s cellphone, audio on one of the videos includes a child saying: “Dad, that’s not the show, make him do it right,” and a man’s voice says, “Do it over.”

The affidavit says university officials also came across a video of a roughly 40-year-old “naked adult male jumping off a boat skinny dipping.”

Fleming said Hoffner is frustrated, and the publicity has made the case difficult.

“He’s very protective of his family,” he said.

One of the Hoffner’s other attorneys, Jerry Maschka, said the case has been hard on the family.

“They are strong, but it’s been a difficult experience.” Maschka said.

Hoffner is entering his fifth year as head football coach at Minnesota State, Mankato. He led the team to the playoffs in 2008 and 2009 and a share of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title in 2011.

He has a 34-13 record at Minnesota State, Mankato, and was named NSIC coach of the year in 2009.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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