Attorney asks for dismissal of charges against MSU-Mankato coachby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
ROCHESTER, Minn. — A defense attorney will ask prosecutors this afternoon to dismiss charges against Minnesota State University - Mankato football coach Todd Hoffner, who faces two counts of child pornography.
A criminal complaint alleges Hoffner used a university-issued cell phone to take pornographic videos of his three children, all under the age of 9. According to the complaint, the videos show the children dancing in the nude.
In his motion, Hoffner's attorney, Jim Fleming, asks Blue Earth County Judge Krista Jass and Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Michael Hanson to drop the charges because "there is absolutely no evidence Todd Hoffner intended the videos to be, or knew or had reason to the know the videos would be alleged a 'sexual performance' or 'pornographic work'."
Hoffner and his wife, Melodee, released a statement Tuesday thanking friends, community leaders, school administrators and former MSU athletes who have reached out to them in the last few months.
"The family is overwhelmed by these compassionate and thoughtful expressions," the statement read. "This outreach by the greater Mankato and Eagle Lake communities has been a source of strength and encouragement in these trying times both personally and professionally."
Last month, investigators said they found no potential evidence of child pornography in a search of materials taken from Hoffner's home.
Earlier this week, a certified sex therapist and a pediatrician came to Hoffner's defense in affidavits filed with Blue Earth County court.
After viewing the three videos that resulted in the charges against Hoffner, therapist William Seabloom said "the children were happy and laughing. They did not appear to be in any distress or discomfort."
Seabloom holds a PhD in human sexuality from the Institute of Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco and a master's degree in social work from the University of Minnesota.
According to the affidavit, Seabloom said the children in the videos do not appear to be engaged in any physical contact in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification. "The children are engaged in healthy play," Seabloom said.
In another affidavit, Lon Knudson, who has examined the Hoffner children since 2008, said the children are in good health.
"I have not found or suspected physical or psychological damage to these children in any respect," Knudson said.
Since filing charges against Hoffner in late August, county prosecutors have declined numerous requests for interviews.
Hoffner remains on paid administrative leave from MSU.