Jalen Kitna released from jail on $80,000 bond one day after arrest on child pornography charges

Florida backup quarterback Jalen Kitna was released from jail on $80,000 bond Thursday, a day after he was arrested on five child pornography charges that police said included images of a man having sex with a young girl.

Judge Meshon Rawls set the bond and, as a condition of Kitna’s release, ordered him to have no unsupervised contact with minors and no internet access.

Kitna sobbed in his hands as his parents, including former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna, addressed the court during a 75-minute appearance. Jalen Kitna was in the Alachua County Jail and on closed circuit when Jon and Jennifer Kitna took to the podium in the courtroom and promised they would monitor their 19-year-old son at home in Burleson, Texas.

Jon Kitna tapped his feet repeatedly and held hands with Jennifer throughout his son’s first court appearance. Jalen Kitna donned a green smock — different from the striped pants and tops worn by other inmates — usually given to those kept under close surveillance because of concerns about their welfare. His booking photo showed him in regular prison attire.

“He has a great family. He has good family support. “He’s going to be well taken care of,” one of Kitna’s attorneys, Caleb Kenyon, said outside the courthouse.

University of Florida backup quarterback Jalen Kitna, 19, appeared in court at the Alachua County Jail Thursday, the day after he was arrested on child pornography charges. He was eventually released after his court appearance on an $80,000 bond

A judge ordered Kitna to have no unsupervised contact with minors and to have no access to the internet.  The collegiate athlete has also been suspended indefinitely by the Florida football program following his arrest

A judge ordered Kitna to have no unsupervised contact with minors and to have no access to the internet. The collegiate athlete has also been suspended indefinitely by the Florida football program following his arrest

The Gainesville Police Department released Kitna’s arrest report Thursday, providing graphic details about the complaints against the now-suspended football player.

The investigation began in June with a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about images of child pornography being shared on the social media platform Discord. The investigation led the authorities to Kitna.

Kitna shared two photos of a pubescent girl, police said in the report, adding that the phrase “so young junior” was written on both photos. Kitna told a detective he thought they were legal because he found them online.

When police searched Kitna’s phone, they found three more photos of two naked pubescent girls in the shower, according to the report. These three images were saved on his mobile phone in December last year, police said. The report did not estimate the age of the girls.

Kenyon, the attorney, argued that Kitna should be released without bond and suggested that the three images could be considered child pornography rather than child pornography.

Kitna played in four games this season for the Florida Gators, completing 10 of 14 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown

Kitna played in four games this season for the Florida Gators, completing 10 of 14 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown

Kitna also told police he had been in other message groups on at least one other social media platform that distributed similar material, according to the arrest report.

Discord had previously disabled Kitna’s account for violating its terms of service, police said.

“Discord has a zero-tolerance policy for child sexual abuse, which has no place on our platform or anywhere in society,” a Discord spokesperson said in a statement. “We are working relentlessly to find and remove this abhorrent content and take action, including banning the users responsible and contacting the appropriate authorities.”

Two of the five arrest charges, which still need to be formalized by the attorney general’s office, are second-degree felonies that can result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The other three are third-degree felonies.

Jalen Kitna is the son of ex-Seahawks, Bengals, Lions and Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna.  Pictured: John Kitna watches from the sidelines during a Steelers-Bengals game in 2003

Jalen Kitna is the son of ex-Seahawks, Bengals, Lions and Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna. Pictured: John Kitna watches from the sidelines during a Steelers-Bengals game in 2003

Kitna is also represented by Gainesville attorney Ron Kozlowski as well as noted Jacksonville attorney Hank Coxe, who has a history of taking on cases involving high-profile athletes.

The University of Florida Athletic Association said it was “shocked and saddened” by the news.

“These are extremely serious allegations, and the University of Florida and UAA have zero tolerance for such behavior.”

Florida has suspended Kitna indefinitely from its football program. The 19-year-old appeared in four games as a rookie for the Gators this season, completing 10 of his 14 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown.

Jon Kitna played 14 seasons in the NFL with Seattle, Cincinnati, Detroit and Dallas. He started 124 games and is now a high school coach in Burleson, just south of Fort Worth.

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