Florida backup quarterback Jalen Kitna was arrested by the Gainesville Police Department after executing a search warrant at his apartment Wednesday morning. According to a GPD spokesperson, he was charged with two counts of distributing child exploitation material and three counts of possession of child pornography. He was suspended indefinitely from the football program, according to a university spokesperson.
According to a document I obtained Sports Illustratedthe authorities believed they had probable cause to search his home for evidence of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.
Kitna, 19, was arrested after receiving an electronic tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children that a user was distributing child sexual abuse material through online chat platform Dicsord on an account belonging to Kitna, according to a GPD spokesperson. The tip found out Kitna’s address – an apartment he shared with two others, neither of whom was arrested. Further investigation revealed that he shared two photos, according to a GPD press release. Kitna was booked into the Alachua County Jail Wednesday afternoon, according to an online inmate database.
According to a press release, after a detective called and questioned him, Kitna stated that he remembered sharing two photos but thought they were legal because he found them online:
Kitna advised that he realized he shouldn’t be sharing those two images, based on the reaction of the other Discord user who shared it with him. Shortly afterward, Kitna advised, his Discord account was deactivated and he assumed someone reported him to Discord. Kitna stated that he Received an email from Discord saying his account has been disabled for violating our Terms of Service.”
GPD confiscated Kitna’s electronics and found three additional images of “child sexual abuse material”.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear the news regarding Jalen Kitna,” the university said in a statement. “These are very serious charges and the University of Florida has [University Athletic Association] You have zero tolerance for such behavior.”
Kitna, who signed with Florida in 2021, is the son of former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna and has played sparingly in four games this season as a redshirt freshman.