Florida formally dismisses QB Kitna amid child porn charges
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — 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.
Although Kitna remained enrolled in classes Friday, the University Police Department issued him a trespass warning that bars him from campus for three years, pending the outcome of his court case. Kitna also would need to have to go through a student code of conduct hearing to be eligible to return, an unlikely outcome given the severity of the allegations.
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 mages 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 that could result in a prison term of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000. 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.
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