Minn. football coach cleared of child porn charge

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MANKATO, Minn. -- A Minnesota college football coach said he wants to return to work now that a judge has dismissed prosecutors' claims that video he took of his children playing after a bath amounted to pornography.

The judge sided with Todd Hoffner, head coach at Minnesota State-Mankato, and threw out the child porn charges against him on Friday. The judge said the cellphone video was nothing more than children playfully dancing naked after a bath.

"I'm just so thankful to be waking up from this nightmare," Hoffner, 46, said after the ruling, which came more than three months after the coach was escorted off a practice field and later arrested.

Hoffner was charged after a school employee found the video on his university-issued cellphone and notified authorities. Hoffner was having a problem with the phone checked out.

Now, Hoffner said, he wants to get back on the sideline. But it's unclear when that may happen.

The university said he would remain on administrative leave until it completed its own investigation. School spokesman Don Benson said he had no timetable on when that would be.

Hoffner's attorney, Jim Fleming, said he believes that university officials "know everything they need to know."

-- AP

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