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Florida Gators backup QB Jalen Kitna booked on child pornography complaints

Gainesville Police: Kitna shared images of child sexual abuse material on Discord.
 
Florida quarterback Jalen Kitna appeared in four games for the Gators this season.
Florida quarterback Jalen Kitna appeared in four games for the Gators this season. [ PHELAN M. EBENHACK | AP ]
Published Nov. 30, 2022|Updated Dec. 1, 2022

Florida Gators quarterback Jalen Kitna was arrested Wednesday on multiple felony complaints involving child pornography. He was booked into the Alachua County Jail at 3:20 p.m. and has been suspended indefinitely from the football team.

The Gainesville Police Department received a cyber tip about a user of the Discord messaging system sharing an image of “child sexual abuse material,” the department said in a news release. The investigation led police to Kitna’s Gainesville residence.

Kitna, 19, told police he shared them but thought they were legal because he found them online. He then said he should not have shared them, according to Gainesville police. An initial search of his electronic devices found three more images.

According to Gainesville police, he faces two counts of distribution of child exploitation material and three counts of possession of child pornography. Alachua County court and jail records list five second-degree felony complaints accusing Kitna of possession with intent to promote child pornography. Evidence of possession with intent to promote, according to Florida statute, includes having three or more copies of a video, photograph or other representation.

Booking or arrest documents were not available as of Wednesday evening.

“We are shocked and saddened to hear of the news involving Jalen Kitna,” the University 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.”

Kitna appeared in four games this season as a redshirt sophomore. Coach Billy Napier said during the season that Kitna’s development allowed the Gators to feel more comfortable deploying Anthony Richardson as a runner; if Richardson was injured, UF felt confident in Kitna’s ability to step in, if necessary.

Kitna completed 10 of his 14 passes for 181 yards. His lone touchdown pass came against Eastern Washington in his UF debut. He also rushed one time for 6 yards this season.

He’s the son of Jon Kitna, the longtime NFL quarterback who suited up for the Bengals, Lions, Seahawks and Cowboys.

His spot on the depth chart for the bowl game or 2023 was uncertain because Richardson has been weighing his options, including leaving early for the NFL draft. If Richardson chose to leave and skip the bowl game, Kitna would have been in line to start it.

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