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Monday: Therapist, pediatrician defend Mankato coach

  • Blog Post by: Richard Meryhew
  • October 29, 2012 - 6:48 PM

Just days before a Mankato football coach facing child pornography charges next appears in court, a professional therapist and a family pediatrician have come to his defense.

In an affidavit filed Monday in Blue Earth County District Court, a professional therapist and social worker who reviewed the three cellphone videos at issue in the case against Minnesota State University, Mankato coach Todd Hoffner said that the children in the videos “are engaged in healthy play.”

William L. Seabloom, who viewed the images at the request of Hoffner’s attorney, also said that “there is nothing I can see from how the children appear that they are engaged in any physical contact in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification,” the affidavit showed.

Documents identify Seabloom as a potential defense witness in the case against Hoffner, 46, who was arrested and charged with two felony counts of child pornography in August after the videos of his three children dancing naked and touching themselves were found on his campus-issued cellphone.

While prosecutors submitted the videos as evidence in the case, Hoffner’s attorney, Jim Fleming, has said that they were nothing more than “private family moments” that contained nothing graphic, sexual or exploitative.

Seabloom, who has a doctorate degree in Human Sexuality from the Institute of Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, Calif., determined the same after viewing the videos, which showed the children, ages 5 to 9, dropping towels and jumping around nude.

In one video, Hoffner’s son is shown grabbing himself and his daughters bend over and spread their buttocks. In another video, a daughter is awakened in her bed and told by a male voice to go to the bathroom. As she is followed to the bathroom, the camera is focused on her underwear.

In another affidavit filed Monday, Lon T. Knudson, pediatrician for the Hoffner children, said he has found the children to be “in good health. I noted nothing of concern involving the parents’ care” of the children.

“I have not found or suspected physical or psychological damage to these children in any respect,” Knudson said in the affidavit.

Hoffner has been on paid administrative leave from his coaching job pending the outcome of a school investigation.

Meanwhile, a hearing on the case is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Blue Earth County District Court.
 

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