Minnesota news in brief at 7:58 p.m. CDT

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

Ex-Minnesota State, Mankato coach returning to job

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The football coach fired from Minnesota State, Mankato announced Tuesday that he will return to the job after an arbitrator ruled he was wrongfully terminated, saying the decision wasn’t easy but that it would help him and his family heal.

Todd Hoffner was fired last May for reasons undisclosed at the time. But the dismissal came after he was cleared of child pornography charges stemming from images of his children on a work-issued cellphone, accusations that Hoffner called the “most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard in my life.”

“I believe that resuming my duties as head football coach will help heal that injury,” he said during a tearful news conference in which he took several breaks to compose himself. He said the last two years have been a “nightmare,” but that he always wanted to coach at Minnesota State, Mankato.

“I’m not interested in revenge. … I’m not a spiteful person,” he said, but added that the situation could have been handled differently.

Hoffner was hired in January as head coach at Minot State, and he said he would be “forever grateful” to the North Dakota school for hiring him when he thought he might never coach again. But he said he decided to go back to Mankato for simple reasons.

___

Man accused of abusing 2 girls in ‘Maidens Group

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Authorities were searching Tuesday for a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing at least two girls in a “Maidens Group” at his religious fellowship in rural Minnesota, where he told one victim she would remain a virgin because he was a “man of God,” according to a criminal complaint.

Victor Arden Barnard is facing 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct related to two young women who said they were abused for nearly a decade at his secluded River Road Fellowship. The 52-year-old was last known to be in the Spokane, Wash., area where the fellowship resettled soon after the investigation began in Minnesota, Pine County Chief Deputy Steven Blackwell said Tuesday.

Washington state’s fugitive task force and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also are searching for him. People associated with the group in Washington have been uncooperative, Blackwell said.

According to the criminal complaint, the two woman were among about 10 girls and young women who lived apart from their families in a camp Barnard set up near Finlayson, about 90 miles north of Minneapolis. One woman alleged Barnard sexually abused her from the ages of 13 to 22, while the other said it occurred when she was 12 to 20.

Barnard kept the Maidens isolated and used “religious coercion and intimidation” to maintain his control, Blackwell said Tuesday, adding: “It’s certainly cult-like behavior.”

___

Deputy shot, wounded in Norman County

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus