Jalen Kitna, the backup quarterback for the Florida Gators, has been arrested and charged for the distribution and possession of child pornography according to a press release by the Gainesville Police Department.
According to the police department, the athlete was brought in for questioning regarding images that had been shared to his personal Discord account due to an anonymous tip provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Kitna admitted to having found and posted the images which he believed to have been legal since he “found them” online.
“Kitna advised that he realized he should not have shared those two images,” the statement continued, “based on the reaction from the other Discord user that 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 terms of service.”
“When I spoke to a detective, there is, you know when it’s a child and according to detectives, this was an image of a child,” said GPD Public Information Officer David Chudzik to WCBJ. “That was his excuse for it, that he found it on the internet, that is not an excuse.”
According to Chudzik, this specific case “is getting a lot of attention but our internet crimes against children team has solved about a dozen of these cases that have led to arrests. The timing has nothing to do with it, the timing aligns with others of our cases when we do them.”
The GPD’s search warrant allowed them to seize Kitna’s electronic devices, which also exposed three more images of child sexual abuse material. As a result of the arrest and the gravity of the charges, Kitna was immediately suspended by the Gators the next day.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear of the news involving Jalen Kitna,” said UF’s athletic department in an official statement. “These are extremely serious charges and the University of Florida and the UAA have zero tolerance for such behavior. Jalen has been suspended indefinitely.”
As of now, he is facing three counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of distribution.
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