MANKATO, Minn (AP):A Minnesota college football coach said he wants to return to work now that a judge has dismissed prosecutors' claims that a video he took of his children playing after a bath amounted to pornography.
A judge sided with Todd Hoffner, head coach at Minnesota State-Mankato, by throwing out the child porn charges against him last 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 said after the ruling, which came more than three months after the coach was escorted off a practice field and later arrested.
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 leave until its own investigation was complete, and school spokesman Don Benson said he had no timetable as to when that might happen.
just a family thing
Hoffner was charged after a school employee found the video on his university-issued cellphone and notified authorities. Hoffner had taken his problematic phone to work to be checked out.
Hoffner testified earlier that his three young children asked him to videotape a skit they had concocted after taking a bubble bath.
A search of his home computer found no evidence of child porn, and social workers found no evidence that the couple's children had been abused.
In her 24-page ruling last Friday, Blue Earth County District Judge Krista Jass said she didn't find any evidence that the videos amounted to pornography.
"The videos under consideration here contain nude images of defendant's minor children dancing and acting playful after a bath. That is all they contain," Jass wrote.