Hindsight is easy in Mankato porn case

  • Article by: RYAN GUSTAFSON
  • Updated: December 5, 2012 - 9:05 PM

TV reporter: "I don't know how to make it up to Coach Hoffner and his family."

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hittodeadDec. 5, 12 9:49 PM

Yes Ryan, all of those small-minded people who first encountered the videos "passed it along", and kicked the can down the road until they landed in the lap of the overzealous county attorney who decided they were fodder for a potentially career-making prosecution. That doesn't suggest we should look at what happened and say it was right to play out the way it did. Based on what we know of the judge's ruling on the evidence, to compare this to the Penn State case is ridiculous, as is suggesting that prosecutors were correct to err on the side of caution. What about exercising caution when you embark on a campaign that could destroy a family, as Ross Arneson did?

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bluedevil101Dec. 5, 12 9:49 PM

Ryan: The issue is not with you or the media at least as I see it. It is not with a tech worker or athletic department at MSU-Mankato. They did the reasonable thing-turn it over to someone else and let the system play it's course. I didn't find the media coverage to be one sided, although some reactions by the public certainly were. I recall several comments by the public that Hoffner should be in a cell with Sandusky. The issue is with the Sheriff and County Attorney who jumped the gun. Instead of quietly investigating the issue COMPLETELY they moved forward with an arrest and a charge before a full investigation was done. This reckless behavior likely will cost Mr. Hoffner his career. He will not be returning to MSU-Mankato. He's damaged goods and no university will take a chance on hiring him when his job is all about public relations. The County Attorney can claim all he wants about 500 adult felony cases and "we win some and lose some." That's THE irresponsible attitude that should force the citizens to recall this County Attorney. From my understanding Gov. Dayton needs to initiate the recall if this can be done at that level of government. Why he's not moved forward is hard to understand. There is nothing partisan about reckless prosecution or permanently damaging someone's career possibilities. The sooner Hoffner recognizes he's done in the profession, at least as a head coach, the better he will be. Negotiate an exit. Leave the state and use your connections to go back to an assistant coaches role. You never know what the future may bring. Maybe there will be another chance.

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DonFreidDec. 5, 12 9:50 PM

The BE County Child Protection Worker did make a determination of no maltreatment and no services needed to protect the children from their parents and the County Attorney's office still did not drop the charges. The Child Protection worker has years of education of family dynamics and and interviewing children regarding sexual abuse. As a former Child Protection Worker of BE County who retired 8 years ago I have had experience working with Mr Arnesons' office. When I read the first accounts in the paper I told anybody who would listen to me that if there wasn't anything more than that video there was probably no abuse but I was not surprised of Mr Arneson supporting charges. That is another story.

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davehougDec. 5, 1210:49 PM

Hence the whole philosophy of 'Innocent until proven guilty' ........unless you are the media or a prosecutor wanting a win.

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viqueenfailDec. 5, 1210:54 PM

Since the County Attorney had the video from the cell phone, I would hope that they would have been able to tell the person who alerted them that this didn't rise to the level of criminal activity. This reminds me of a similar case a few years ago in which a couple had their children taken from them and traumatized by child protective services for a day because some born again Proex manager alerted the FBI because they brought in film for developing that had shots of their toddler splashing in the bathtub. As a parent I fully support protecting our children, but as a rational human I do not object to applying a little common sense when deciding whether something is illegal or normal. I think most sane people can tell the difference.

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rshacklefordDec. 5, 1211:43 PM

"bluedevil101: This reckless behavior likely will cost Mr. Hoffner his career. He will not be returning to MSU-Mankato." ---- But his state taxpayer funded cell phone most certainly will. I think he learned a really good lesson from his reckless behavior. And, the faster he moves on, so can the rest of us. Sound good?

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Marky23Dec. 6, 1212:31 AM

Don't beat yourself up buddy, there's nothing you could do. I mean you and your colleagues could do the obvious thing--not cover trials until a verdict is reached... but let's face it, you have far too much contecmpt for your audience for that. Plus you might run out of pretty white women with private traumas to exploit and you might have to cover South America. Or maybe even Africa. That's too much for me and I hope too much for you. If a few people have to have their presumption of innocence eviscerated in the name of entertainment, well I guess that's the price we all pay for getting to be terrible stewards of our republic.

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liora51Dec. 6, 1212:36 AM

Had the reporter practiced forethought and kept the descriptions of the children's behavior--skewed by the prosecutor's lurid imagination-he wouldn't have to use hindsight.

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goferfanzDec. 6, 12 7:37 AM

I agree with the last comment. Who has actually seen the video? The biggest red flag in this case was no other photo or file sharing findings on home/work computers, home photos, etc. The thing I dont understand is why not get a search warrant first, ie go thru the home and workplace looking for other evidence? Then, meet in private with the family to express concerns. The trouble in high-profile cases like this is = once its public, it IS public. And really, the coach was taken off a football field. Is that true? I would like that to be explained............

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obamafone4meDec. 6, 12 8:05 AM

Hindsight is easy? If common sense had been applied this would never have been been pursued.

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