The website Vice ran an interview with a psychiatrist from Johns Hopkins University shortly after the Jerry Sandusky sentence was handed down. In the interview, Fred Berlin argued that one problem we have as a society was that we only attempt to address pedophilic urges through the criminal justice system. Y’see, Berlin thinks that pedophilia needs to be recognized as a public health issue. That it’s a sexual orientation like any other, except that it can’t be acted out. And by recognizing it as such and treating those who are held captive to its urges, we save more kids than we can in our current draconian posture. An ounce of prevention and all that.
That’s one way to go at this thing. Another way is the way we’re stuck with as a sort of modern day ordeal by water that has everyone suspected of being a pedophile. The head football coach of Minnesota State appears to have sank like a stone. I guess he may not be a pedophile after all.
It’s a shame, really.
The english language is full of useless sentences. I try to fit as many into every post I write because I love you all. But one of the more useless sentences has to be: Todd Hoffner may not be a pedophile. What does that even mean? He may not be one? And when did you stop beating your wife…
Todd Hoffner was the anonymous coach of a Division II football program until August, when he was accused of taking obscene video of his three small children, all under the age of 10. As you’d expect, Minnesota State didn’t waste any time in putting the coach on administrative leave. Post-Sandusky, it just doesn’t make any sort of sense to pause when asses need covering. State College, Pennsylvania is currently an uninhabitable hellhole filled with zombified boosters and delusional rape advocates. Do you want to be like Penn State? Do you? Well, Minnesota State didn’t.
So Hoffner was charged with felonies related to taking videos of his own small children. And idiots the internet over retired to their secret typing place to write Coach jokes. I was one of those idiots. A person reading any of those stories about Hoffner could have been forgiven for wondering why so many child sex scandals were touching (oof) the world of college football lately. But there was always a note of caution that hung around the story of Todd Hoffner. I raised one such note here. And this week, Hoffner’s attorneys once again asked that the charges against him be dropped.
Two things, while not dispositive, certainly suggest that Hoffner may not be guilty of filming his own children engaged in pornographic acts. The first is the fact that no child pornography was found on the computers at the Hoffner home. The second is that social workers visiting the home after the charges found no evidence that Hoffner’s children had been abused.
Now, it’s possible that Todd Hoffner is the sneakiest child pornographer history has ever known and managed to not let a single illegal image pass through his home computers. Also possible that he runs a safe home for his children while surreptitiously filming them for pornographic reasons. But it’s not likely. And so we are left to wonder whether Todd Hoffner has been caught in some Kafkaesque nightmare. Or, maybe, we shouldn’t wonder. We should all just relax on the wondering. It’s not necessary that we make a determination about Todd Hoffner. If there’s one thing I’m certain we need less of, it’s certainty. The world just simply isn’t that simple. And no amount of Rick Reilly-penned revenge fantasies will convince me otherwise.
RAP SHEET ROLL CALL
* That old lady tennis ref accused of killing her husband with a coffee cup managed to pass a polygraph test. An old bird like that has gotta be imperturbable.
* Ndamukong Suh is accused of sideswiping a car, leaving the scene, and then yelling at the guy whose car he sideswiped. Then? That or this other guy is Lion. Get it? Lion.
* And to bring it full circle, a former high school baseball coach who stood accused of horrific and sexually charged behavior with students was released from prison yesterday. Guilty? Not anymore. Innocent? Uhhh, no. Let’s just say not guilty. Read the whole article.
This week doesn’t feature a haiku or a quiz. None of that gibberish. This space will instead be used to honor The Oracle himself, Beano Cook. Most know Beano as the man who shamelessly pimped Ron Powlus for two Heisman trophies. Ron Powlus came about as close as you or I to sniffing even one Heisman Trophy. But anyway, Beano died yesterday which was… oddly sad. When someone dies, you often have weird sensory memories attached to them. The smell of your grandma’s house, your dad’s rough hands, the sound of your grandpa’s farts. Beano Cook’s voice rattles around my head today. Which is strange. At any rate, use the comments to talk about Beano Cook. Or, to fulfill my legal obligation to make things remotely legal, mention the worst prognostications to ever appear in a written legal opinion.
Human services’ Hoffner investigation finds no maltreatment of children [Mankato Free Press]