The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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August 21, 2012

Update: Hoffner faces criminal charges as well as internal MSU investigation

MANKATO — Speculation about why Minnesota State University’s football coach was escorted off the field during practice Friday ended Tuesday when he was arrested at his Eagle Lake home.

Todd Hoffner, 46, was booked into the Blue Earth County Jail Tuesday for requested charges related to using minors in a sexual performance and possession of child pornography, said Capt. Rich Murry of the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department.

Hoffner was arrested at his home without incident at about 11:45 a.m. while Sheriff’s Department investigators were executing a search warrant.

Murry said he couldn’t comment or elaborate on the requested charges.

Formal charges had not been filed by the Blue Earth County attorney’s office as of Tuesday afternoon. Prosecutors generally have 36 hours, not including the day of arrest, to file criminal charges before being required to release someone from jail.

They could also determine there is not enough evidence to file the requested charges.

A news release from the university said university officials are not aware of any allegations affecting MSU students or others who have participated in football programs at the university.

The law enforcement investigation was initiated by the Mankato Police Department because the original complaint was made there, Murry said. Hoffner’s office is on the campus of Minnesota State University, which is within Mankato city limits.

Sometime Monday the investigation was turned over to Sheriff’s Department detectives. They handle more in-depth investigations for the Eagle Lake Police Department.

“We began investigating yesterday,” Murry said Tuesday afternoon. “Based on information from our initial investigation we executed a search warrant at his residence this (Tuesday) morning.”

The investigation did not originate with the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Murry said. Among other things, the task force identifies Internet sources for child pornography and alerts law enforcement agencies where they suspect those sources are located.

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