Ravens

Coach cleared of child porn wants files sealed

Coach cleared of child porn wants files sealed

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) A football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, who was cleared of child pornography charges last month that stemmed from videos found on his cellphone of his naked children clowning around after a bath, wants to keep the police investigative reports sealed.

Todd Hoffner has been taken off administrative leave, but hasn't been reinstated as head coach and is facing a 20-day, unpaid school suspension in January for unspecified reasons.

Earlier this month, he asked for an injunction in an effort to keep the police reports private, after a Twin Cities television station asked to see them. Hoffner is seeking a temporary restraining order that would keep anyone from disseminating the investigative file.

District Court Judge Krista Jass ruled last week that the reports will remain private until they can be reviewed, The Free Press of Mankato reported (http://bit.ly/ZFYA0c).

Jass ordered prosecutors to gather all investigative reports and turn them over to Hoffner's attorney, Jim Fleming. He'll be allowed to file a sealed list of information that he believes should be kept from the public. After receiving Fleming's list, Jass will decide what should remain sealed.

Fleming said in a court affidavit that releasing the information would harm Hoffner.

``Plaintiff Mr. Hoffner has an ongoing investigation relative to his employment as a head football coach at (MSU),'' Fleming's affidavit said. ``Release of private non-public data could irreparably harm (Hoffner) with respect to that investigation that a civil lawsuit for damages would not fully compensate.''

Hoffner was charged with possession of child porn 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 last month after concluding that the short videos of his children acting silly after a bath were not child porn and showed nothing illegal.

Last week, the university said Hoffner was no longer on administrative leave but hadn't reinstated him as coach. The university didn't give reasons for the decision, citing data privacy laws. But the school did say in the statement it was still investigating a complaint against Hoffner. University officials didn't elaborate.

Connie Howard, an attorney for the union representing Hoffner, told The Associated Press by email last week that Hoffner was being suspended without pay for 20 days starting Jan. 7. She didn't give the reason for the suspension, but said the union is challenging it.

Fleming told the newspaper that he wants the information sealed to protect Hoffner's privacy. Investigators went through computer files and took pictures of items in his house.

``We're not hiding anything from anybody,'' Fleming said.

---

Information from: The Free Press,http://www.mankatofreepress.com

Quick Links

Steelers will require fans to wear a mask at Heinz Field, should they be allowed

Steelers will require fans to wear a mask at Heinz Field, should they be allowed

If fans are permitted to attend Pittsburgh Steelers home games this fall, there's one item they can't forget: a mask.

Steelers' director of communication, Burt Lauten, explained the decision to require fans to wear a mask in a statement on Tuesday.

"Our goal is to still have fans at Heinz Field this year with the understanding that social distancing, as well as all fans being required to wear masks, will play a role in the capacity to ensure a safe atmosphere," Lauten said, via ESPN. "We will continue to work with the NFL and public health officials to finalize plans for fans to attend our home games."

Pittsburgh was one of the first franchises to alter its ticketing plans this season, as they decided in May to trim half of their individual game ticket sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The news comes just hours after their AFC North rival, the Baltimore Ravens, announced that M&T Bank Stadium will be capped at less than 14,000 fans this fall, should fans be allowed to attend games.

RELATED: NFL PROPOSED PAY CUT FOR PLAYERS

In June, The Athletic reported that the NFL will not place a limit on capacity at games, allowing each individual team to make the decision themselves.

"Attendance will be a state-by-state, county-by-county thing," an anonymous NFL source told The Athletic. "It will not be a one size fits all."

Additionally, the NFL has said that the first 6-8 rows of lower bowl sections, including field-level suites, will be blocked off this fall to help slow the spread of the virus. Those sections will be covered with tarps, which teams can use to sell advertising, similarly to what the Premier League in England has done.

With training camp still a few weeks away, there are a lot of virus-related questions the NFL must answer beforehand.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO SPORTS UNCOVERED

Stay connected to the Ravens with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Howard is a finalist for 2021 five-star defensive end Korey Foreman

Howard is a finalist for 2021 five-star defensive end Korey Foreman

The Howard University football program has moved a step closer to landing perhaps its highest-ranked recruit in years, if not ever.

Five-star defensive end Korey Foreman trimmed his college choice to seven on Wednesday evening, and the Howard Bison were on the list. The other six schools were Southern California (USC), LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Clemson, and Georgia.

In Foreman's tweet, he explained why Howard, a historically Black college (HBCU), was included in his list.

"I am a young black man that is happy and proud of my race," he wrote. "The Black Lives Matter movement is and forever will be powerful and definitely never forgotten. These are the schools I will now be focusing on the most. Set the standard and .. be different."

The news comes just a week after the Howard basketball program landed five-star Makur Maker, who chose the Bison over Division I schools UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis. Maker was the highest-ranked recruit Howard basketball has landed in its history. Mikey Williams, a top-five basketball recruit in the 2023 class, has already hinted about potentially playing at an HBCU as well.

Foreman, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end, is projected to commit to USC, according to 247Sports. Foreman is ranked the No. 2 overall prospect on 247Sports recruiting rankings for the 2021 class.

However, if the last few weeks are any indication, Howard can't be ruled out.

Stay connected with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NCAA NEWS: