The 19-year-old University of Florida quarterback was arrested Wednesday on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, reports the Gainesville Police Department. Jalen Kitna, son of former NFL quarterback John Kitna, has also been suspended from the Gators’ football program.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear the news involving Jalen Kitna. These are extremely serious allegations and the University of Florida and UAA have zero tolerance for this type of behavior. Jalen has been suspended indefinitely from the football program,” The University of Florida Athletic Association said in a statement.
In a news release, police said they executed a search warrant at Kitna’s residence after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. During investigation, the police learned that two images of child sexual abuse material had been shared from Kitna’s home via the online messaging platform Discord.
Police said Kitna reportedly admitted to investigators that he shared the images, but thought it was “legal” because they were found online. However, after sharing the photos, he told police that the response from the Discord user to whom they were sent made him realize that he should not have done so.
Kitna’s Discord account was later deactivated after she received an email from the messaging platform stating that she had violated its terms of service, they told the police.
Police said investigators later discovered three more images of child sexual abuse material on electronic devices that were seized from Kitna’s home as part of their search. Kitna was arrested on two counts of distribution of child abuse material and three counts of possession of child pornography.
Kitna committed to the Gators in 2020. He redshirted last season, and appeared in four games this season. His father, John Kitna, played 14 seasons in the NFL for multiple teams, retiring in 2013.