A gator behind bars


In June 2022, Florida police received a tip from The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children stating that on Discord, a social media platform, a user had distributed an image displaying a child being sexually abused.  After further investigations, police discovered that the culprit spreading the vulgar photos was 19-year-old Jalen Kitna, University of Florida’s quarterback. He was arrested on Nov. 30 and taken to Alachua County Jail where he was held until release the following afternoon. 

 “I am honestly disgusted that anyone would do that, especially someone with as big of a platform like a Florida quarterback,” Amelia Matheson, sophomore, said.  

 Kitna was found guilty on two accounts of distribution of child exploitation material and three counts of possession of child pornography. He was charged with five second-degree felonies that could result in a prison term up to 15 years and a fine of $10,000. The judge set Kitna‘s bond at $80,000, and he is not allowed to use the internet or have unsupervised contact with any minors. Once released, he was returned to his family in Texas. 

 “He should not have even been released from jail, he deserves to be stuck in there for a long time for the sick thing he did,” Jamison Archin, senior, said. 

 He states that he found all the material currently on his phone off of the internet; however, police have discovered that two of the photos found on Kitna’s device, showing exposed young girls, were personally taken by Kitna. The University of Florida has now suspended Kitna indefinitely from the school’s football program. 

 “He is seriously messed up to think that he could just lie and get away with his crimes. I am glad the police did not fall for it, and he is getting what he deserves,” Payton Harding, junior, said.  

 Despite Kitna being released on Dec. 1, 2022, the player is still receiving extensive backlash from previous fans across America, and many wonder if he will ever earn a spot on any football team ever again.