The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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August 22, 2012

Update: Hoffner accused of creating child pornography

MANKATO — Videos of nude children found on a Minnesota State University cell phone led to child pornography charges filed against its head football coach.

Those three videos, allegedly created by Todd Hoffner, show his three children dancing and jumping around while they are naked, according to a criminal complaint filed in Blue Earth County District Court Wednesday. The children are under the age of 10. Hoffner is charged with felony counts of using minors in a sexual performance and possessing pornographic work.

District Court Judge George Harrelson set Hoffner’s bail at $10,000 with condition he only have contact with his children while other adults are with him. Bail was set at $40,000 without conditions and the next hearing was set for Aug. 30.

Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Mike Hanson had requested that Hoffner not be allowed to have contact with his children. While arguing for a lower bail and against Hanson’s request, Hoffner’s attorney, Jim Fleming, told Harrelson that he didn’t agree that the videos were of a pornographic nature. What was described in the complaint didn’t show that the children were being abused or exploited, Fleming said.

“This could very well be seen as something completely different than what they are assuming,” he said.

After the hearing, Fleming again said the videos, as described, weren’t necessarily pornographic. He also said they were “private family moments that were videotaped.

“There is nothing in that video that is descriptive, graphic, abusive or exploitative,” he said.

The videos were turned over to the Mankato Police Department after they were found on Hoffner’s phone by another employee at the university. They were turned over to Blue Earth County Sheriff’s detectives because investigators suspected they were created at Hoffner’s home in Eagle Lake.

Hoffner brought his cell phone to Julie Bruggeman in the university’s Information Technology Department on Aug. 10 because it wasn’t working properly. After contacting the wireless network provider and being told to download a file to the phone, Bruggeman brought the device to Jerry Jeffries, the department’s supervisor, according to the complaint.

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