Florida has reportedly dismissed backup quarterback Jalen Kitna after his arrest on child pornography charges.
Kitna was arrested Wednesday after a search of his apartment. He’s facing charges of possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear of the news involving Jalen Kitna,” a statement from Florida said after his arrest. “These are extremely serious charges and the University of Florida and the [University Athletic Association] have zero tolerance for such behavior.”
According to ESPN, Kitna was dismissed from the team on Friday. He was indefinitely suspended immediately after he was arrested.
Per the Gainesville police, Kitna was arrested after he allegedly shared child sex abuse images on Discord, a popular online communication server. According to the arrest report, Kitna was at his apartment when police arrived.
“Detective Montague contacted Kitna at the residence and interviewed him,” the arrest report said. “Kitna stated that he remembered sharing the two images but believed them to be ‘legal’ since he found them online. Kitna advised that he realized he should not have shared those two images based on the reaction from the other Discord user he shared them with. Kitna advised shortly after that his Discord account was deactivated and that he assumed someone reported him to Discord.
“Kitna stated that he received an email from Discord stating that his account was deactivated due to violation of the terms of service. Kitna’s electronic devices were seized as part of the search warrant. Preliminary analysis of the devices revealed three additional images of child sexual abuse material.”
Kitna's arraignment hearing happened Thursday. According to a more detailed police report obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, one of the images Kitna allegedly shared on Discord was of a prepubescent girl.
When police searched Kitna’s phone, they found three more images of two nude pubescent juveniles in the shower, according to the report. All three of those images appear to be self-produced. The report did not estimate their ages.
Kitna told police that he was in servers that discuss, solicit and distribute child sexual abuse material, but he “tries to shy away from it,” the report said. Kitna also said he had been in groups on the message system Kik that distributed similar material and that he “might have accidentally downloaded” those types of items but would delete them.
Kitna signed with Florida in the fall of 2020 and the redshirt freshman has served as the primary backup to Anthony Richardson in 2022. He’s the son of former NFL QB Jon Kitna and was a three-star recruit in the class of 2021. He appeared in four games in 2022 and threw 14 passes and one touchdown.