Earlier this fall we covered the story of the Minnesota State Mankato football coach who was charged with child pornography after an information technology employee found videos on his work cellphone. The videos allegedly showed his three children naked and playing and led to very serious criminal charges. Today, a Blue Earth County judge dismissed all charges against him.
As we mentioned earlier, it may not have been the best idea to record family videos on his cellphone, but that does not mean that a lapse of judgment should lead to a criminal conviction. There needs to be an actual violation of the law for someone to be convicted. And, in this case, the judge said that these videos did not violate any child pornography laws.
Previously, the prosecutors had said that the videos clearly were sexually exploitative and that they were a “lewd exhibition of the genitals.” He also claimed that the videos showed one of the children masturbating. After the judge reviewed the videos, however, she said that the videos were merely children being children. If there had been any touching of the genitals, it was coincidental and not sexual.
The coach is very lucky that he had an impartial judge reviewing the videos. Child pornography charges often raise extreme emotions and it makes it difficult for anyone, jury members and judges alike, to be unbiased. This is why it is extremely important for anyone suspected of sex crimes to work closely with a criminal defense attorney.
Source: Star Tribune, “Judge dismisses child porn charges against Mankato football coach,” Richard Meryhew, Nov. 30, 2012
If you want to read more about how this man was acquitted, please see the source above. If you want to learn more about our work with people who have been accused of child pornography possession, please visit our website.