Florida Gators backup quarterback Jalen Kitna — the son of ex-NFL quarterback Jon Kitna — was arrested in Florida on Wednesday, according to reports. The Gainesville Police Department executed a search warrant on the Gators QB’s residence and his electronic devices were seized, where images of child sexual abuse were discovered. He was arrested and booked on five charges, two counts of distribution of child exploitation material and three counts of possession of child pornography.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear of the news involving Jalen Kitna,” the University of Florida Athletic Association said in a statement. “These are extremely serious charges and the University of Florida and the UAA have zero tolerance for such behavior.”
Police received a tip that a Discord user had distributed an image of child sexual abuse material. Discord is an instant messaging platform.
Here’s GPD’s release on Jalen Kitna’s arrest pic.twitter.com/k4OwhFkbL7
— Ainslie Lee (@AinsliesTwoBits) November 30, 2022
Police say when they made contact with Kitna at his residence he remembered sharing two of the images but thought it was OK since he found them online. Police also say Kitna later admitted he should not have shared the images.
Under Florida law possessing, distributing, transmitting and manufacturing child pornography are all illegal and are third degree felonies.
The younger Kitna is due to appear in court on Thursday to hear the charges against him.
Kitna is a redshirt freshman and has appeared in four games this season, completing 10 of 14 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown. His best performance was against Eastern Washington University, where he played with the backups in a blowout and threw for 152 yards and a touchdown.
It’s highly unlikely Kitna will be a member of the Florida Gators football team going forward. The school said they have a zero-tolerance policy and if convicted these are felony charges. He could be facing prison time.
If an investigation takes place, what else might they uncover on Kitna’s devices? How deep does this kiddie porn issue go with him? Is it a one-time thing or does he have a history of disturbing and deviant behavior as it relates to child pornography?
If this was a one-time thing and Kitna, how dumb are you? Sharing these images on a public social platform is idiotic. Once you send something out into the world digitally, it’s there. Anyone can access it share it, etc.
If Kitna is in fact a deviant and someone that trafficks in child pornography, then he needs to be dealt with under the laws of Florida and it needs to be determined if he can be rehabilitated or not.
As for the Gators, they finished the regular season a disappointing 6-6 and are awaiting invitation from one of the minor bowl games to finish out their season. There was a possibility that Kitna could’ve featured prominently in a postseason game, as starter Anthony Richardson might sit out if he decides to declare for the 2023 NFL draft.
Now Kitna’s worried about staying out of prison, and playing football is the least of his concerns.