University of Florida quarterback Jalen Kitna was charged Wednesday with distributing child exploitation material, accused of sharing sexual abuse images on the messaging platform Discord, authorities said.
Kitna, 19, faces two counts of the felony and three counts of possession of child pornography, Gainesville police said in a statement.
The school’s Collegiate Athletic Association said freshman Kitna was suspended indefinitely from its soccer program.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear the news involving Jalen Kitna,” the association said. «These are extremely serious charges and the University of Florida and UAA have zero tolerance for such behavior.»
A university spokesman said the school had no further comment.
Kitna is the son of former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna, now the head football coach at Burleson High School in Texas. Jon Kitna did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children alerted local authorities Wednesday that someone shared an image depicting child abuse on Discord, the police department said.
Investigators linked the images to a home in Gainesville and found that the two images were shared by an account that likely belonged to Kitna, the department said.
In an interview with police, Kitna said she believed the images were legal because she found them online, the police department said. She told authorities that she shouldn’t have shared them based on the reaction of the user she shared them with, she said.
Kitna said her account was disabled for violating the platform’s terms of service, police said.
A preliminary analysis of Kitna’s devices found three other images showing child sexual abuse, according to the police department.
Kitna remained in custody Wednesday, court records show. It was not immediately clear if he has an attorney speaking on his behalf.
Discord did not immediately respond to a request for comment.