Florida QB Jalen Kitna held on $80K bond, banned from internet amid child pornography charges

Content Warning: This story contains details about children’s cartoons. It can be difficult to read and emotionally draining.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A day after being arrested on child pornography charges, Florida quarterback Jalen Kitna spent most of a 75-minute closed-circuit video on Friday grieving and bowing to atop a podium, face buried in his hands, while his parents looked on. from the court office.

Her father, Jon, a retired NFL quarterback, signed with Kitna’s mother, Jennifer, in the process. They assured the court that they would return their son to their home in Burleson, Texas, and return with him for court dates in Alachua County. Kitna was ordered held on $80,000 by Eighth Circuit Judge Meshon Rawls, banned from internet access and banned from having contact with minors.

The redshirt freshman was charged Wednesday with two counts of providing child pornography and three counts of possessing child pornography, related to his use of the social media app Discord. , police said.

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Thursday’s decision came shortly after details emerged from a Gainesville police report, which said one of the photos Kitna shared on Discord was of a pre-teen girl. -pubescent sleeping with an older man. A shared photo showed what police described as a teenage girl exposing her stomach. Those images were revealed on June 21, police said, issuing a cyber tip two days later from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Police traced the images to an IP address at Kitna’s home in Gainesville and subpoenaed verification records from Verizon and Discord tracking Kitna. In executing a search warrant Wednesday, police said Kitna turned in his iPhone. The device turned up three new photos of young teenage girls in the shower, police said. Those photos were saved to his phone on December 7, 2021, police said.

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Kitna admitted to handing over two photos that he believed were “proper,” police said in the report. Kitna said he knew he shouldn’t have shared those two photos, based on a response from another Discord user in the conversation, the report said.

Judge Rawls imposed a $25,000 fine for two counts of child distribution, second-degree felonies in Florida. He was held on bond of $10,000 each for three counts of possession of child pornography, which are class three felonies.

Defense attorney Caleb Kenyon, asking that Kitna be released on his own recognizance without bond, outlined a possible sentence for Kitna, if convicted on the counts in total, only 16 months. He also argued that none of the images involved minors, and he proposed a resolution that would allow Kitna, as a 19-year-old with a clean criminal record, to serve no prison time.

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Afterward, Kitna’s attorney Ron Kozlowski declined to discuss the facts of the case. Kitna’s parents were joined in the courtroom by Kevin Sides, whom Kitna’s defense attorneys described as “the local pastor.” An online bio revealed that Sides founded an Athletes in Action program at the University of Florida in 2008. Although the defendants in the videotaped video were wearing T-shirts and sweatshirts that were released in prison, Kitna was dressed in an anti-murder uniform.

“He has great family support,” Kenyon said.

(Photo: David Rosenblum / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


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