Florida backup quarterback Jalen Kitna, the son of retired NFL quarterback Jon Kitna, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with two counts of distribution of child exploitation material and three counts of possession of child abuse images.
Gainesville police said the 19-year-old Kitna shared the images via a social media platform. Kitna was booked into a local jail, where he was awaiting a first appearance before a judge on Thursday morning. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
The Gators suspended Kitna indefinitely about an hour after his arrest.
Gainesville police announced the charges in a news release and said the investigation was initiated when the department received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tip indicated that a Discord user distributed an image of child sexual abuse material through its chat platform.
Further investigation by a detective showed two images were shared via Kitna’s Discord account at his apartment in Gainesville, police said. The detective contacted Kitna at his residence and interviewed him. Kitna said he remembered sharing the two images and that his Discord account was later deactivated because of a violation of the terms of service, police said.
Kitna’s electronic devices were seized as part of a search warrant. Preliminary analysis revealed three additional images of child sexual abuse material, police said.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear of the news involving Jalen Kitna,” the school’s athletic department said in a 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 from the football program.”
Jon Kitna played 14 seasons in the NFL with Seattle, Cincinnati, Detroit and Dallas. He is now a high school football coach in Texas.