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Wife: Porn charges 'baseless'

MANKATO, Minn. -- Child pornography charges against the
football coach at Minnesota State, Mankato, are groundless and
images on his cellphone are innocent family memories, his wife
insisted Monday.

Todd Hoffner, 46, of Eagle Lake was charged last week with two
felony counts related to child pornography after authorities said
they found nude images of his children on his cellphone.

"The charges against my husband are ridiculous and baseless,"
Melodee Hoffner said at her husband's attorney's office. "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 children."

Melodee Hoffner said she is a licensed school counselor and
knows the signs of children who have been abused. Their three
children love to dance, play and act silly and to be photographed
and recorded, she said.

"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," she said.

She took no questions.

The Blue Earth County assistant prosecutor handling the case did
not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The complaint against Hoffner said the coach brought his
university-issued cellphone to school officials earlier this month
because it wasn't working. He was issued a new phone, and was told
technicians would retrieve videos and pictures from his old phone.

A technician came across the videos in question and authorities
were contacted.

Hoffner faces two criminal charges: one count of using minors in
a sexual performance or pornographic work, and one count of
possessing child pornography. He is free on bail and is on leave
pending a university investigation.

Todd Hoffner is entering his fifth year as head football coach
at Minnesota State, Mankato.

Melodee Hoffner said she and her husband were "in complete
shock" when he was arrested. She said when a police officer
described the videos on her husband's phone, she thought, "Those
are our family videos they are talking about."

"I hope that someone with authority will take a new look at
this and see it for what it is," she said.