- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Suspended Florida Gators backup quarterback Jalen Kitna was released from Alachua County Jail on $80,000 bond after his initial appearance at the Alachua County Courthouse on Thursday morning.
Kitna, 19, was arrested Wednesday on five felony counts of child pornography, which include the distribution and possession of child pornographic images that investigators said appear to be self-produced.
Dressed in a dark forest-green jumpsuit, Kitna appeared before Alachua County Court Judge Meshon T. Rawls via closed circuit television, with his fists clenched and head often slumped throughout the hour-and-a-half hearing. Rawls handed down bail amounts of $25,000 on each of the first two counts and $10,000 on the three additional counts.
If convicted, Kitna could face a mandatory prison sentence of 20 months.
His defense attorneys, Ron Kozlowski and Caleb Kenyon, argued for him to be released on no cash bond to his parents in Texas, citing state law regarding bond guidelines for the charges.
But prosecution attorney Celeste Ramirez of the State Attorney's Office argued a bond was needed based on the nature of the evidence documented in Kitna's arrest report, which included images of pubescent and pre-pubescent juveniles.
What happened with Jalen Kitna?Florida QB Jalen Kitna arrested on child porn charges
New details about the case
A Gainesville Police arrest report released Thursday shed more details on the case. Per the report, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received an investigative lead from Discord regarding one of their user's accounts related to child exploitation.
Discord provided the uploaded IP address, which traced back to Kitna's address − 2308 SW 38th Drive, Apt. 6, Gainesville − and a Verizon phone account subscribed to by Kitna's father, Jon.
According to a statement released Thursday by the company regarding the incident: "Discord has a zero-tolerance policy for child sexual abuse, which does not have a place on our platform or anywhere in society. We work relentlessly to find and remove this abhorrent content and take action including banning the users responsible and engaging with the proper authorities."
Chat history on the phone, according to the report, revealed Kitna's intent to distribute the first two images, which involved juveniles in sexual poses wearing just a bra. The final three images, according to the report, were found on Kitna's iPhone, depicting two nude juveniles in the shower touching each other's breasts in various poses.
The report stated the images appeared to be self-produced.
The Gators announced he was indefinitely suspended following his arrest.
What the defense has to say
Kitna's family and attorneys are gearing up to contest the charges and clear the player's name, though first, they say they are offering their support.
"We'll talk to the family; they will handle it the way they want to handle it," said Kozlowski, his attorney. "Right now we're not considering so much how to handle the case as much as trying to get Jalen the love and support he needs right now. We'll get to the case in due time and now that's our focus."
Kitna's father, former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna, and mother, Jennifer Kitna, also attended the hearing. The family has also retained the council of Henry Coxe and Brian T. Coughlin in Jacksonville to assist with the case.
If Kitna posts bond, conditions of his release will include no supervised contact with minors under 18 and no internet access.
This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Investigators: Child porn shared by Gators' Kitna seems self-produced