Florida formally dismisses QB Jalen Kitna following arrest on child porn charges


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida has formally dismissed quarterback Jalen Kitna from the team following his arrest on five child pornography charges that police said included an image of a man having sex with a young girl.

The Gators scrubbed Kitna’s name from their roster and his biography from their website late Thursday, just hours after Kitna’s first court appearance. Kitna was released from jail on an $80,000 bond and ordered to have no unsupervised contact with minors and no internet access.

Kitna, 19, returned with his parents, retired NFL quarterback Jon Kitna and wife Jennifer, to Burleson, Texas.

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Jalen Kitna sobbed into his hands during his 75-minute court appearance, which included attorneys on both sides arguing bond details and conditions of his release. He wore a solid green smock typically given to inmates being kept under close watch because of welfare concerns.

The Gainesville Police Department released Kitna’s arrest report Thursday, providing graphic details about the complaints filed against him.

Police said Kitna shared two images of young girls being sexually abused via a social media platform, including one of a man having sex with a young girl.

Police later searched his phone and found three more images of two nude young girls in a shower — photos that had been saved to Kitna’s phone in December 2021. The report did not estimate the ages of the girls.

Kitna’s lawyer Caleb Kenyon argued those three images could be considered child erotica instead of child porn.

Two of the five arresting charges, which still need to be formalized by the state attorney’s office, are second-degree felonies. The other three are third-degree felonies.

The Gators suspended Kitna following his arrest on Wednesday and took the step of dismissing him a day later.

Kitna also is being 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.

Kitna appeared in four games as a redshirt freshman for the Gators this season. He completed 10 of his 14 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown.

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

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