The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

October 31, 2012

UPDATE: (VIDEO) Hoffner testifies that his kids asked him to videotape their show

MANKATO — Todd Hoffner looked directly at District Court Judge Krista Jass frequently Wednesday as he described the evening in June when he made two videos that led to his arrest for creating child pornography.

The head coach for Minnesota State University’s football team was preparing for the upcoming season when he sent his son and two daughters off to the Jacuzzi tub in his master bathroom to take a bath.

“I instructed them to go take a bubble bath,” Hoffner said during the hearing, which Jass will use to help determine if there is enough probable cause to support the charges. “They usually last longer and I can get some work done.”

Apparently his children, who were between the ages of 4 and 9, spent their time in the tub working on a “show,” he said. When they got out and headed down to the living room in their towels, they asked him to make a video. Hoffner said he didn’t know what they were about to do.

He grabbed the Blackberry cell phone that had been issued to him by the university and started recording. During the next 92 seconds his children dropped their towels as they sang, danced and laughed.

At one point it was clear his son was trying to ruin the show by messing around and making the girls mad, Hoffner said. It was around that point that the boy grabbed his penis for about five seconds and all of the children exposed their anuses for the camera. The girls also told Hoffner their brother “wasn’t doing the show right” and asked him to make him follow their plan.

Hoffner said he eventually told them the show was over so he could get back to work. A short time later his daughters said they wanted to do another video on their own, so Hoffner agreed. That resulted in the 10-second video that ended quickly because, again, the boy interfered. This time he ran through wearing only a football helmet, which resulted in a chuckle from Hoffner before he shut the camera off a second time.

Hoffner’s attorney, Jim Fleming, asked him if he remembered ever watching those videos again before he was suspended from his job two months later, arrested and charged with making and possessing child pornography.

“I did not look at those videos again,” Hoffner said.

“Did you even remember they were on the phone?” Fleming asked.

“I did not,” he said.

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