Wife voices support for football coach charged with child porn

10:53 AM, Aug 27, 2012   |    comments
  • Melodee Hoffner, Attorney Jerry Maschka
    
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MANKATO, Minn. - The wife of a college football coach accused in a case of child pornography involving their children is voicing  support for her husband and assailing the charges against him.

Minnesota State University Mankato head coach Todd Hoffner, age 46, was charged Wednesday with one count of using minors in sexual performance/pornographic work and one count of possession of pornographic work.

Investigators say the three children in the videos are his.

Melodee Hoffner stood before reporters Monday morning at the office of her husband's attorney and read a written statement vehemently proclaiming his innocence.   

"The charges against my husband are ridiculous and baseless." Melodee Hoffner said. "My family does what every family does - we take videos and pictures of our kids in all their craziness. My husband would not ever abuse our children or any other child."

The videos on Hoffner's phone were discovered by a University of Minnesota Mankato IT employee after the coach turned the device in for repairs. That employee notified superiors and the videos were turned over to police.

"There is nothing inappropriate in the context of family interaction and Coach Hoffner has been wrongly accused," said Todd Hoffner's attorney Jerry Maschka. "These charges result from a cascade of decisions made by well intentioned individuals and resulted in a terrible mistake. It is our hope and expectation he will be reinstated as head football coach."

"When Todd was arrested on Tuesday both Todd and I were in complete shock," Melodee Hoffner explained to reporters. "When the police executed the warrant at our home a deputy told me there were videos of our children found on Todd's cell phone. He described what he had found. I though "those are our family videos they are talking about'."

"Our children, 9, 8 and 5 are close knit, open, engaging and creative," she continued. They love to have fun; can be silly and like to be photographed and videoed. Our children love to dance and play... we have a lot of fun with them. In fact they make us laugh quite a bit. The videos described in the complaint against my husband are just that - nothing more."

Blue Earth County Sheriff's Capt. Rich Murry tells the Mankato Free Press that investigators were continuing to examine computers taken from Hoffner's home and that the process would take "quite a bit of time."

Murry said there "were quite a few items removed" from the computer disks.

The coach's wife insists that her husband is innocent, and says that she would know if the kids were being victimized.

"I am a licensed school counselor,  and am fully aware of the signs and indicators of children who have been abused," Melodee Hoffner stated. "And I assure you our children have not been exploited or abused - they are healthy physically, mentally and emotionally; and have normal relationships with friends, family and teachers."

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