Above: Jalen Kitna | Alachua County Jail
UPDATE (Thursday, July 6, 2023 — 10:00 AM PST): The Associated Press reports that Kitna has accepted a plea deal in which his five felony child pornography charges were dismissed. In exchange, Kitna pleaded guilty to two counts of disorderly conduct. He has reportedly been placed on six months’ probation per count, but will not have to pay a fine or register as a sex offender.
GAINESVILLE, Fl. — A college athlete in Florida has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of possession of child sexual abuse material.
19-year-old Jalen Kitna, a redshirt freshman who plays as a backup quarterback for the Florida Gators, is facing five felony charges amid an investigation into the alleged downloading and distribution of child sexual abuse material (commonly abbreviated as CSAM), Gainesville PD announced in a media release via Facebook.
The investigation began as a result of the alleged sharing of CSAM over the chat app Discord. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children submitted a cyber tip to Gainesville PD after a user allegedly shared an image of CSAM on the platform, and detectives subsequently identified the account holder as Kitna, police said.
On November 30, Gainesville PD and Internet Crimes Against Children task force officials served a search warrant at Kitna’s home on Southwest 38th Drive. Detectives also interviewed Kitna at the residence, and Kitna reportedly told them that he’d shared two images but had been under the impression that they were “legal” since he’d found them elsewhere online.
Kitna also told detectives that the reactions from other Discord users made it clear that he shouldn’t have shared the images, and that he received an email from Discord shortly thereafter informing him that his account had been deactivated for violating their terms of service.
Police say they seized Kitna’s electronic devices as part of the warrant, and that preliminary analysis has revealed three more images of suspected CSAM.
Kitna was arrested on two counts of distribution of child exploitation material and three counts of possession of child pornography, and booked at the Alachua County jail.
Per the Washington Post, Kitna is the son of former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna. After graduating high school, Jalen Kitna chose the Florida Gators program, passing up other college programs at Boston College, Georgia Tech, and others.