MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A Minnesota judge has dismissed child pornography charges against a college football head coach accused of making pornographic videos of his children.
Blue Earth County District Court Judge Krista Jass says in her ruling Friday that the case against Todd Hoffner is dismissed for lack of probable cause.
Hoffner is the head coach at Minnesota State, Mankato. He was charged in August with two felonies. Prosecutors said he made videos of his children performing suggestive acts while naked.
Hoffner and his wife insisted all along that the videos were not inappropriate, and were merely images of children acting silly and dancing after taking a bath.
A search of Hoffner's home found no evidence of child porn, and social workers found no evidence of abuse.
In her ruling, Judge Krista Jass stated that "the images do not depict the children in a lewd or sexualized manner. Therefore, the images cannot reasonably be classified as pornographic." Later in her ruling, Judge Jass wrote, "Absent harm to the children, it is not for the state to take a position on these divergent viewpoints, but to preserve the fundamental privacy interests of the family."
Her ruling went on to state, "There is no evidence that Defendant (Hoffner) harmed his children. What Defendant dais as a father, in innocuously recording his naked children as they performed a playful, silly skit after a bath, is protected expression under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. It is private, family speech of a most uniquely personal kind which the state can neither inhibit nor sanction."
A 4 PM news conference with Hoffner and his attorney are scheduled for Friday. We will have the latest updates online and on News 12 at 5 and 6.