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Parents Of Lauren McCluskey Allege Officer Saved, Shared Photos

UPDATE: The Utah Department of Public Safety will conduct an independent investigation into the University of Utah Police Department’s handling of allegations against a former officer.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The parents of Lauren McCluskey blasted the University of Utah on Monday afternoon over new allegations into their daughters murder case.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, a former officer at the University of Utah, Miguel Deras, saved explicit photos of McCluskey on his personal cell phone and showed them to a fellow officer, allegedly bragging about having them.

“The person who was supposed to provide police services to Lauren instead exploited her,” said Jill McCluskey from her home in Washington State, during a Zoom press conference being shown at her attorney’s office in Utah.

Before her murder, Lauren McCluskey sent the photos to police claiming Melvin Rowland, her killer, was blackmailing her with them.

“It turns out that the only thing that officer Deras did was download the photos that Lauren provided as evidence to his personal phone to use for his own enjoyment,” said Jill. “Lauren expected officer Miguel Deras to arrest this man when she provided evidence against him.”

“Lauren’s trust was betrayed by officers who were sworn to protect her,” said Matt McCluskey, Lauren’s father during the press conference. “This latest revelation…makes me wonder how much misconduct remains undiscovered.”

The McCluskey’s are in the middle of a multimillion dollar lawsuit with the University of Utah over what happened in the case.

“I personally believe, that Officer [Deras] should not be serving on any police force in the state of Utah,” said Brad Parker the McCluskey’s attorney.

A University of Utah spokesman said that Deras did have the photos, and did share it with a fellow officer, but only in the context of the investigation.

Defense attorney Greg Skordas said that is legal. Skordas is not involved in the case in any way but has represented dozens of officers over the years.

He says Deres who is now an officer at the Logan City Police Department, and could be suspended, or even have his officer certification revoked depending on who he shared those photos with.

“What happens to this officer will depend in huge part on how this information was shared,” said Skordas. “Nobody had any business sharing them with anyone other than someone who was doing an investigation into her death and nothing else.”

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