The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

October 8, 2012

Human services' Hoffner investigation finds no maltreatment of children

MANKATO — A Blue Earth County Human Services investigation that found no evidence of child sexual abuse by coach Todd Hofner has prompted his attorneys to again request that child pornography charges against him be dropped.

Saying the Minnesota State University head football coach wants to return to his job with the team, his attorneys issued a statement Monday saying they want Blue Earth County Attorney Ross Arneson to dismiss a felony case against their client.

 Hoffner, 46, has been on paid administrative leave from the university since he was escorted off a field during practice Aug. 17.

He is accused of using his young children to make three short videos, which prosecutors say contain child pornography, on a cellphone that had been issued to him by the university.

The Maschka, Riedy & Ries Law Firm said Monday that a second formal request to dismiss the charges was sent to Arneson Sept. 27. That was after Hoffner’s attorneys received confirmation from law enforcement that no child pornography had been found on computers taken from Hoffner’s house in Eagle Lake. They had also learned an investigation by Blue Earth County Human Services found no evidence Hoffner’s children had been sexually abused.

Arneson said he couldn’t make specific comments about the Hoffner case because he is concerned about pretrial publicity. He also said, at this point, he expects Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Michael Hanson to bring the case to trial.

“I have a great deal of confidence in Mr. Hanson’s experience and judgment,” Arneson said. “This last year our felony caseload included three murder cases. I did not comment to the media on any of them, so why would I comment on this case?

“Prosecutors have to be careful that they do not make pretrial statements that can contaminate the jury pool. We expect that the evidence in this case will be presented to a jury for their determination.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News