Todd Hoffner child porn charges dropped; "It is private, family speech," judge rules

Categories: Crime, Sex, Sports
todd hoffner rect.jpg
The videos Todd Hoffner shot of his children in various states of undress aren't pornographic, a judge ruled.
A month after a sex offender expert testified that he didn't think the videos that landed Mankato State head football coach Todd Hoffner in trouble were pornographic, charges were dropped before the case went to trial.

SEE ALSO: Todd Hoffner's wife says her husband is innocent of child porn charges

According to the Star Tribune, "In an 26-page ruling, District Judge Krista Jass determined that the videos shot by Todd Hoffner showed nothing lewd, sexual or exploitative."

Back in August, here's how the Mankato Free Press described the content of those videos:
A one-minute video created on June 26 showed [Hoffner's] three children, one boy and two girls, with their backs to the camera and covered by towels, the complaint said. They drop the towels and turn toward the camera, exposing themselves. The boy allegedly fondles himself and the girls allegedly bend over and expose their anuses to the camera.

A much shorter video showed the girls dancing naked before the boy enters wearing only a football helmet, according to the complaint. The third video, about two minutes long, allegedly shows one of girls being woken at night by a male and told to go to the bathroom. After the girl gets up, the camera focuses in on the back side of her underwear, the complaint said.
But here's what Judge Jass had to say about the videos in today's ruling:So with the charges dismissed, will Hoffner get his job back? Here's what the Strib report has to say about that:
A university official said this week that the school has not yet completed its internal investigation of the matter, adding that Hoffner will remain on paid leave until that is finished.

The Mavericks, guided by an assistant coach in Hoffner's absence, are 12-0 and nationally ranked heading into Saturday's NCAA Division II quarterfinal playoff game against Missouri Western in Mankato.
And beyond the question of whether or not Hoffner returns to work as MSU's football coach, one has to wonder how it's possible to begin to repair the damage done to his reputation over the past five months.


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16 comments
puertovalla
puertovalla

What's amazing is that Hoffner lost his position over silly pictures that did not affect students or faculty; yet, three Deans & other admin were aware of a psychology professor at the same university who recently talked about (in front of students during class time) killing another professor and the admin/Deans DID NOTHING. Stupid university.

Abby Ball
Abby Ball

What a disgusting creep! Why is this ok or acceptable just because they are his kids! Just think what wasn't on camera that happened at that house.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Blue Earth County should clean house in their Prosecutor's office.  This was ridiculous from the start.  The timing, in the middle of the Penn State trials, was very suspicious.  Obviously the DA's office freaked out.  We can be charitable and believe they were over-zealous to protect kids, or we can be cynical and suspect they were looking to grab a headline.  Either way, they were not protecting kids or advancing justice.  Maybe none of them have little kids.  It's a shame this case got to the point where a judge had to throw it out.  I'm sure Hoffner has attorneys sifting for any grounds for a lawsuit.  This prosecutorial over-reach should have consequences.  Of course, Kathleen Morris still works for Scott County, 30 years after one of the most ridiculous cases of prosecutorial abuse ever recorded (at least since the Salem Witch Trials, that is).

LerpDerp
LerpDerp

I have felt bad for this guy since day one.  It was obvious the case would be dismissed, but now his name is etched across Google for years.  If I were him I would want compensation for this somehow. 

Oscar Quella
Oscar Quella

I may not be an expert, but I know what's creepy as all hell! I bet I wouldn't film my son's anus!

Ryan Siverson
Ryan Siverson

Too bad his career has been destroyed and life turned upside down.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@Abby Ball Absolutely nothing.  When you actually have kids you'll understand.  All parents are relieved when their kids get past the "naked prancing around" stage.

Berryl
Berryl

@swmnguy Yeah nothing wrong with grown men making videos of their naked kids, right? I`ll bet you worry about strangers getting access to your computer, they could find the *cough* secret files with all your `family kids` pictures. I know one thing, when someone starts to vigorously defend a man who filmed his naked kids then that is a person I dont trust, at all.  Yeah its his kids, yeah he was in his home, yeah it`s a family. But non of that changes the fact that this is a grown man making videos of his naked kids. People make videos of things they like, things they want to remember. Naked kids is not one of those things unless you are a sick, sick pervert.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@Neicy Isinthe House Yes, he should.  Every legal expert, social worker, child protection expert etc. not paid by the prosecutor's office has been unanimous.  Hoffner did nothing wrong and his family didn't deserve any of this.  Prosecutors should have to meet some kind of common sense test before they parade lurid charges before the media. 

Berryl
Berryl

@LerpDerp Yeah it`s just so sad, a grown man make videos of naked kids and suddenly everyone is out to get him. Dumbass. He`s either a pervert or the dumbest man alive, what do you think it is? Compensation? For what? For getting busted with videos of his naked kids?

Berryl
Berryl

@Ryan Siverson Yeah it just breaks my heart to see a pervert get what he deserves. I guess you would give him a medal if you could, right? And how many videos of naked kids do you have on your computer btw?

spanky101956
spanky101956

@swmnguy. I had 4 children and have 8 grand children. I think this guy is VERY CREEPY!.The behavior alone is inappropriate.Taking photos to carry around with you ,even more inappropriate!What kind of father wants naked pics of his 9 yr old daughter? A pedophile. I'll bet we haven't heard the last of this guy's obsession with children!.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@Berryl: I'm not going to call you names because you have no familiarity with parenthood or little kids.  I'm not going to take the obvious trolling bait, either.  I'm not going to take offense that you get your opinions and attitudes from the same tabloid puritanism that delights in and creates weird, hidden perversion and abuse.  Perhaps you are too young to remember the Scott County cases, in which prosecutors alleged in court that there had been child human sacrifice and there were underground Satanic temples below a daycare center in Jordan.  Umm, none of that ever happened.  At all.  In any way.

If you ever had been around little kids goofing around, you would know, as the judge in the Hoffner case and every professional social worker who didn't work for the Blue Earth County Prosecutor's office did, that this is normal stuff, not sick.  Who knows; maybe the prosecutors have dark secrets in their past, and deserve our sympathy.  But healthy kids act like kids, and healthy parents know what that is and is not.

Call parents "sick, sick perverts" if you want.  The rest of society deals with humans, not tabloid cartoons, and has more sense.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@spanky101956 I haven't seen the pictures and neither have you.  The people (other than the prosecutor) who have seen them have seen true child pornography, and this, according to them, ain't it.  


Maybe he is a child abuser; maybe he isn't.  The courts have determined that what is known doesn't sustain that suspicion.


Let's not forget this whole thing came up right after the Jerry Sandusky thing at Penn State.  There was more than a whiff of hysteria in the air.  Not unlike the plague of satanic ritual child sex abuse cases in the 1980s, which have all been debunked and should never have gotten to the point of arrest, much less prosecution.


I'm not going say this guy isn't a creep, but I certainly won't take the word of a very politically motivated and publicity-hungry prosecuting attorney who has now been pretty much completely discredited in this case for it.

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