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Florida Gators backup QB Jalen Kitna charged with sharing child pornography

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Jalen Kitna, the son of former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna, has been hit with felony charges after he allegedly shared child pornography online. Photo courtesy of University of Florida Athletics
Jalen Kitna, the son of former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna, has been hit with felony charges after he allegedly shared child pornography online. Photo courtesy of University of Florida Athletics

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Jalen Kitna, the son of former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna, has been hit with felony charges after he allegedly shared child pornography online, police said Thursday.

Kitna, a backup quarterback for the Florida Gators, was arrested at 9:55 a.m. EST on Wednesday after a search warrant was executed at his home, according to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report.

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He was charged with two counts of distributing child exploitation material and three counts of possession of child pornography, police said in a statement on Facebook.

According to the police department's arrest report, the two counts of distributing exploitation material are described as photos or movies of a "sexual performance by a child."

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Kitna was released from jail on Thursday after his bond was set at $80,000 during his first court appearance, WFOR-TV reported.

He is barred from having internet access or having unsupervised contact with minors.

The 19-year-old redshirt freshman allegedly shared pornographic images on the instant messaging app Discord.

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Police said in the statement that the investigation into Kitna began after officers received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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A more-detailed arrest report obtained by WFOR-TV reads that the image that prompted the tip featured a "zoomed-in picture of a pre-pubescent female's lower stomach to her upper thighs."

"Further investigation, by Gainesville Police Department Detective Montague, revealed that two images were shared, via Discord, from the residence," police said in the statement on Facebook.

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Kitna allegedly told Detective Montague that he remembered sharing the two images but believed them to be "legal" since he found them online.

According to police, the images were shared from a phone belonging to Kitna's father to the Discord app. Instant messages were also obtained by police which included responses to the images Kitna was sharing.

Kitna told investigators that he frequented other online platforms where child pornography was shared. The arrest report reads that he said he "has been struggling with controlling his interests."

"The Gainesville Police Department wants parents to be aware that children are solicited and exploited through social networking applications," police said in the Facebook statement.

"These social networking applications, like Discord, Facebook, KiK, Snapchat, TikTok and Tagged are also used to share images and videos which depict young children being sexually abused. Please be vigilant and aware of any social networking platforms your children may access."

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UF's University Athletic Association announced Kitna has been suspended indefinitely.

"We are shocked and saddened to hear of the news involving Jalen Kitna," the association said.

"These are extremely serious charges and the University of Florida and the UAA have zero tolerance for such behavior."

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