MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A judge has ruled that the investigative file in the case of a former college football coach who was cleared of child pornography charges will remain private, according to court documents filed Friday.
Attorneys for Todd Hoffner, former head coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, asked the court for an injunction to prohibit the file from being released after two TV stations requested access to it. Blue Earth County Judge Krista Jass granted Hoffner's request in a ruling filed Friday, saying releasing the information would adversely affect his family's right to privacy.
``This is such an occasion where the press must exercise restraint and `direct some effort to protect the rights of an accused' to free speech and privacy,'' Jass wrote.
Hoffner was charged with possession of child pornography in August after school officials found videos of his naked children on his work-issued cellphone, which he had turned in to be repaired. Jass dismissed the criminal charges in November after finding that the short videos of his children acting silly after a bath were not child porn and showed nothing illegal.
Jass wrote that the interests of justice warrant her to consider what impact public dissemination of the file would have on Hoffner's fundamental rights to free speech and privacy. She noted a large amount of data about Hoffner and his family was collected by investigators.
``In this case, the Court determined that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that Mr. Hoffner harmed his children. ... Where an investigation reveals no harm to any member of the family unit, what goes on within the privacy of the family home is not the public's constitutional business,'' she wrote.
The Mankato Free Press intervened in the case to seek access.
Mark Anfinson, the attorney who represented The Free Press, said he was disappointed with the decision. He said it's important to understand how law enforcement went so far astray.
``Without some access to the investigative records, I think answering that question becomes extremely difficult,'' he said. ``It's a pretty big deal in terms of the public's interest when law enforcement agencies misfire like they apparently did here.''
Jass wrote that the information the newspaper wanted could be found in evidence presented in court. When it comes to the actions and decisions of public officials, she said: ``The record speaks for itself.''
After Hoffner's criminal case was dismissed, he was removed from his position as football coach and reassigned to an administrative role. He is currently assistant athletic director for facilities development, a university spokesman said.
A message left with Hoffner's attorney was not returned Friday.
Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/amyforliti

NCAAF Headlines

  • A few things to watch in Week 9 of the Southeastern Conference football season:
    GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 14 Florida vs. Georgia at Jacksonville, Florida: Florida still controls its destiny in the...
  • Here are some things to watch in the Big 12 Conference in Week 9:
    No. 10 West Virginia at Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers (6-0, 3-0 Big 12), trying to stay undefeated be...
  • The Big Sky is routinely considered one of the stronger conferences in the FCS, and this year is no exception.
    It has four programs in the STATS FCS Top 25, with No. 17 North Dakota rounding o...
  • (STATS) - Picked to finish in first place in the Pioneer Football League for the sixth straight season, San Diego is right where it should be with November approaching. The same can't be said for t...
  • (STATS) - The 2015 STATS FCS Freshman of the Year won't appear in another game in 2016.
    Case Cookus is done for the season as a result of a shoulder injury suffered Sept. 24. His return had be...
More inNCAAF News  

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail Baylor vs. Texas Pick Will quarterbacks Seth Russell and Shane Buechele light up the scoreboard so bettors can cash the over in Baylor vs. Texas this Saturday?
Thumbnail Florida vs. Georgia Pick Should bettors expect a defensive struggle between Florida and Georgia when the SEC rivals clash at 3:30PM ET in Jacksonville on Saturday?
Thumbnail West Virginia vs. Ok State Pick Will Saturday in Stillwater be a defensive struggle when Oklahoma State hosts West Virginia at 12:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Miami vs. Notre Dame Pick Two struggling programs meet up this Saturday when Notre Dame hosts Miami at 3:30PM ET. Will the two have an...
Thumbnail Penn State vs. Purdue Pick After a huge upset win last week, is No. 24 Penn Statelooking at a possible letdown performance when it goes on the road to face Purdue...
More inNCAAF Articles  

NCAAF Team Pages