WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

The agent kept explicit photos of the murdered Utah student, 21, and scooped it up days before she was murdered

A Utah police officer saved explicit photos of a terrified college student being blackmailed by her ex-boyfriend on his personal phone and bragging to a colleague just days before she was murdered, a new report has been revealed.

University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey, 21, confided in campus agents in October 2018 that she was being blackmailed by her ex-sex offender, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, who said he had access to some of her personal images and threatened them release if she didn’t pay him $ 1,000.

Terrified by the question, McCluskey Rowland paid the money and then sent copies of his threatening messages and the photos in question to the police as evidence.

Agent Miguel Deras then saved the young numberster’s compromising photos on his phone, before showing them to at least one male colleague and bragging that he could ogle them at any time, the Lake Tribune reported.

Just nine days after the report was submitted, McCluskey was shot dead by Rowland on campus, who then aimed the gun at himself. The promising athlete had ended the relationship a month earlier after discovering that Rowland was a registered sex offender who had lied about his name, age and criminal history.

“The people who would help and protect Lauren were actually abusing her,” Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother, told the Stand. “I wish Deras had used his time to arrest the man who committed crimes against Lauren.”

University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey, 21, confided in campus agents in October 2018 that she was being blackmailed by her sex offender ex-boyfriend, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, who said he had access to her personal files and threatened to give them free if she didn't pay $ 1,000

University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey, 21, confided in campus agents in October 2018 that she was being blackmailed by her sex offender ex-boyfriend, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, who said he had access to her personal files and threatened to give them free if she didn’t pay $ 1,000

Lauren McClusky

Lauren McClusky

Terrified by the question, McCluskey Rowland paid the money and then sent copies of the messages and photos in question to the police as evidence.

Terrified by the question, McCluskey Rowland paid the money and then sent copies of the messages and photos in question to the police as evidence.

Terrified by the question, McCluskey Melvin Rowland (right) paid the money and then sent copies of the messages and photos in question to the police as evidence.

Along with her husband Matt, the McCluskey family filed a $ 56 million lawsuit over police handling of the case after an independent investigation found that Deras did very little to investigate McCluskey’s screams.

On the morning of October 22, McCluskey called Deras to report that Rowland was trying to lure her out of her dorm room. Deras never passed that information to anyone else in the department, and she was shot hours later.

“This latest revelation makes me wonder when we’re coming down,” Matt McCluskey told the Stand.

One of Deras’s colleagues confirmed to campus police that Deras had shown him the footage, while another officer confirmed that he had heard the conversation.

The first officer told investigators in September 2019 that he had sat next to Deras during an inter-service briefing, when Deras leaned over and scrolled to the footage on his phone.

Deras, who now works for Logan Police 85 miles away, has declined several requests for comment. Campus police say the officer to whom the images were shown has not been disciplined for not asking Deras to see them.

Although the university confirmed that Deras had in fact saved and shared the images, the revelation did not come to light until the Stand began asking for access to data, officials said.

“He was long gone before we had any suspicion that the incident with the photo shown had happened,” Lt. Jason Hinojosa told the newspaper. “We identified one person who could confirm. He came forward after the investigation [had] started. ‘

In their lawsuit filed last October, the McClusky family (left to right: Dad, Matt; Mommy, Jill) accused the school of not protecting their daughter or taking responsibility for her death. They seek $ 56 million in damages, but say the money goes to a trust designed to improve on-campus safety

In their lawsuit filed last October, the McClusky family (left to right: Dad, Matt; Mommy, Jill) accused the school of not protecting their daughter or taking responsibility for her death. They seek $ 56 million in damages, but say the money goes to a trust designed to improve on-campus safety

In their lawsuit filed last October, the McClusky family (left to right: Dad, Matt; Mommy, Jill) accused the school of not protecting their daughter or taking responsibility for her death. They seek $ 56 million in damages, but say the money goes to a trust designed to improve on-campus safety

The university claims to have no physical evidence of Dera's misconduct. In July 2019, researchers attempted to download data from Deras' mobile, but everything that was retrieved was damaged or from after the McCluskey case. This was partly because after McCluskey's death, Deras got a new mobile phone and didn't transfer all of his files to the new device.

The university claims to have no physical evidence of Dera's misconduct. In July 2019, researchers attempted to download data from Deras' mobile, but everything that was retrieved was damaged or from after the McCluskey case. This was partly because after McCluskey's death, Deras got a new mobile phone and didn't transfer all of his files to the new device.

The university claims to have no physical evidence of Dera’s misconduct. In July 2019, researchers attempted to download data from Deras’ mobile, but everything that was retrieved was damaged or from after the McCluskey case. This was partly because after McCluskey’s death, Deras got a new mobile phone and didn’t transfer all of his files to the new device.

Sharing or displaying a compromising photo of someone without the person’s consent may be prosecuted under Utah revenge porn laws. The first offense could lead to a criminal charge. Because the statute requires evidence that a victim has been harmed, McCluskey’s death can complicate prosecution.

Also complicating matters, for their part, the university claims to have no physical evidence of Dera’s misconduct.

In July 2019, researchers attempted to download data from Deras’ mobile, but everything that was retrieved was damaged or from after the McCluskey case. This was partly because after McCluskey’s death, Deras got a new mobile phone and didn’t transfer all of his files to the new device.

Major Scott Stephenson, who oversees all police training in the state under the Utah Department of Public Safety, said the discovery could be grounds for action against Deras’ police certification.

“I find it very alarming,” Stephenson told the Stand, suggesting it could be a “policy violation” because the incident was not previously reported.

In their lawsuit filed last October, the McClusky family accused the school of not protecting her daughter and not taking responsibility for her death. They seek $ 56 million in damages, but say the money goes to a trust designed to improve on-campus safety.

“This latest revelation makes me wonder when we hit the bottom,” Matt McCluskey (pictured above with Lauren) told the Tribune

On the morning of October 22, McCluskey called Deras to report that Rowland was trying to lure her out of her dorm room. Deras never passed that information to anyone else in the department, and she was shot hours later.

On the morning of October 22, McCluskey called Deras to report that Rowland was trying to lure her out of her dorm room. Deras never passed that information to anyone else in the department, and she was shot hours later.

Rowland

Rowland

On the morning of October 22, McCluskey called Deras to report that Rowland was trying to lure her out of her dorm room. Deras never passed that information to anyone else in the department, and she was shot hours later.

McClusky is said to have had as many as 20 police reports on Rowland before her death. Her friends also reported concerns to dormitory officials, the lawsuit said, but they were ignored

McClusky is said to have had as many as 20 police reports on Rowland before her death. Her friends also reported concerns to dormitory officials, the lawsuit said, but they were ignored

McClusky is said to have had as many as 20 police reports on Rowland before her death. Her friends also reported concerns to dormitory officials, the lawsuit said, but they were ignored

The lawsuit claims that officials missed the warning signs of dating violence and made no effort to stop Rowland’s harassment or ban him from being on campus.

McClusky is reported to have made as many as 20 police reports on Rowland before her death. Her friends also reported concerns to dormitory officials, the lawsuit said, but they were ignored.

An independent investigation was conducted on behalf of the university, establishing that the school did indeed miss warning signs of abuse before McCluskey was found in a car after returning from a night class.

However, University President Ruth Watkins says there is no reason to believe Rowland could have been stopped.

In response to the lawsuit, the University of Utah has pledged to conduct more frequent checks to identify former detainees and to investigate on-campus complaints more thoroughly.

They also hired more officers, provided more training and streamlined communication between housing officials and police.

McCluskey received a scholarship after a standout high school career in Pullman, Washington. She finished second in the state for the 100 hurdles and fifth in the high jump in her senior year. She specialized in college jumping events and is ranked 10th all-time in Utah in pentathlon.

.

Comments
Loading...