What Jalen Kitna, attorney said Wednesday after child pornography charges were dropped

Former Florida quarterback Jalen Kitna will be charged with two counts of breach of peace in connection to his arrest last November for child pornography.

The plea deal reached Wednesday drops five felony pornography charges. Eight Judicial Circuit Judge Susan Miller-Jones gave the 20-year-old Kitna six months of probation for each count. Assistant State Attorney Brooke King accepted the plea deal.

“It’s a fair result,” said Ron Kozlowski, Kitna’s attorney. “It followed the evidence. The case goes where the evidence takes it.”

Kitna was Florida’s backup quarterback last season when he was arrested for two counts of distribution of child exploitation material and three counts of possession of child pornography.

He was immediately dropped from the football team and returned to his Texas home after posting an $80,000 bond.

The case began when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received an investigative lead from Discord, a social messaging platform Kitna used. The police report said Kitna shared two images, and three more were found on his phone.

From what police could determine, the images were of post-pubescent girls.

“It’s not abnormal for a 19-year-old to look at images of a 16-year-old or a 15-year-old,’ said Darry Lloyd, the chief investigator for the state attorney’s office.

The initial arrest: Gators QB Jalen Kitna released on 80K bond, new details emerge in child porn arrest

What is Discord?: Jalen Kitna charged with sharing child porn on social platform

“The age disparity is important,” said Gil Schaffnit, a Gainesville attorney who specializes in child pornography cases.

Kitna appeared Wednesday with his mother and father, former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna. He read a statement to the court.

Jalen Kitna outside of a courthouse on Wednesday after taking a plea deal.
Jalen Kitna outside of a courthouse on Wednesday after taking a plea deal.

“I want to start off by apologizing to my family, my friends and those that care about me,” he said. “Their support through this whole ordeal has meant a lot to me. The hardest thing about this whole process has been seeing how it’s affected them.”

Jalen Kitna redshirted as a freshman in 2021.
Jalen Kitna redshirted as a freshman in 2021.

Kitna has been banned from Florida’s campus until November 2025. He has not indicated what his plans are, though Judge Miller-Jones offered some advice as the case wrapped up.

“My hope is that we never cross paths again,” she said. “Go do something great with the rest of your life.”

Gainesville Sun staff writer Alan Festo contributed to this report.

David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at Follow him on Twitter @DavidEWhitley

This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Former Florida football QB Jalen Kitna cleared of child porn charges