The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

August 27, 2012

Update: Electronics loaded into coach's car seized

Coach's wife defends her husband against pornography charges

MANKATO — Three videos used to justify child pornography charges against Minnesota State University’s head football coach are nothing more than recordings of family fun and silliness, says Todd Hoffner’s wife.

Hoffner, 46, was arrested Aug. 21 when investigators arrived to search his house in Eagle Lake. The search, and charges of creating and possessing child pornography that followed the next day, resulted from three videos found on an MSU cellphone issued to Hoffner. Two of those videos showed Hoffner’s three children, all under the age of 10, in the nude.

Melodee Hoffner read a prepared statement during a news conference Monday at the Maschka, Riedy and Ries law offices. She was introduced by Jerry Maschka, who said she could not respond to questions due to the serious charges pending against her husband. Todd Hoffner was released from jail Wednesday after he posted a $40,000 bond for his unconditional release.

“She will explain to you that these charges are based on nothing other than normal and typical family videos showing her children having fun and acting silly,” Maschka said. “There’s nothing inappropriate, in the context of family interaction, and Coach Hoffner has been wrongly accused.

“We believe that these charges result from a cascade of decisions which were made by well-intentioned individuals and resulted in a terrible mistake.”

Maschka also said Todd Hoffner is working with the university to “address, clarify and correct this situation” and Maschka expects the university to reinstate Hoffner as head football coach.

Calling the Mankato area a great place to raise her children, Melodee Hoffner said the charges filed against her husband are “ridiculous and baseless.”

 She said she and her husband had no idea why he was placed on administrative leave and escorted off a university practice field Aug. 17. When investigators from the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s and Mankato Police departments showed up to search their house and arrest her husband Aug. 21, they were both “in complete shock,” Melodee Hoffner said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News