The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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September 14, 2012

Update: Hoffner attorney wants access to evidence

MANKATO — An attorney representing Minnesota State University head coach Todd Hoffner asked a judge Friday to give him more access to videos that resulted in child pornography charges being filed against Hoffner last month.

Jim Fleming has only been allowed to watch the three videos once at the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department while a deputy was present. Fleming has asked for a copy of the compact disc so he can review the evidence more closely, but Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Mike Hanson has denied the request.

“I need this information to prepare for hearings and trial for my client,” Fleming told District Court Judge Krista Jass. “There’s also important sound information, which we may want to dispute because it’s misinformation or inaccurate.”

Fleming also had asked for a court order to receive copies of any evidence investigators found on other computers taken when Hoffner was arrested during a search of his house Aug. 21. Fleming learned later Friday that request wasn’t necessary. No evidence of child pornography was found on the two computers and a second cellphone confiscated during the search, Capt. Rich Murry of the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department said Friday afternoon.

The three videos cited in the criminal complaint, which allegedly show nude images of Hoffner’s three young children, were found on a cellphone that had been provided to him by the university. They were discovered after Hoffner brought the phone to the university’s Information Technology Department for repairs. The children are between the ages of 5 and 9.

University officials initially turned the videos over to Mankato police and placed Hoffner on administrative leave. The case was later turned over to the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department because it was determined the videos, one of which allegedly shows Hoffner’s son fondling himself and his two daughters spreading their buttocks for the camera, was created at the Hoffners’ house in Eagle Lake.

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