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Former MSU coach wrongly accused of child porn seeks expungement

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In late 2012, the former head coach of the football team at Mankato State was exonerated of child pornography charges related to images of his children found on his cellphone. The judge had found the videos to be nothing more than recordings of innocent family antics—the criminal charges were thrown out of court.

Since we last discussed the troubling case, the coach has moved on in his career. He recently accepted a job with a college in North Dakota to serve as the head football coach. But, he is not finished with legal issues related to the 2012 charges in Minnesota. He has filed a petition with the court seeking to have the records of his case expunged.

In general, criminal records can have a long-lasting impact upon a person. While the coach has obtained a new job in this set of circumstances, criminal records can show up during background checks well into the future.

Professionals who need a license for their vocation may also face background checks during the licensing, or relicensing processes. Legal counsel can assist people in seeking expungement of records in appropriate cases.

In the coach’s situation, he says that he was wrongly charged with a crime that he did not commit and seeks to have the records expunged, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The coach says that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says that the state agency has destroyed its records, but local officials have not responded to a request for destruction of records in the hands of police and prosecutors.

The judge has previously sealed records provided to the court from executive branch officials that were not used in court. The coach is asking the court to seal the remaining records.

Source: Star Tribune, “Hoffner wants to erase records from unfounded child pornography case,” Associated Press, Mar. 6, 2014

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