A Utah cop who showed off explicit photos of a sexploitation victim days before she was murdered has been fired from the force, his police chief has confirmed.
University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey, 21, went to campus cops in October 2018 because she was terrified of twisted ex Melvin Rowland, 37, a sex offender who was blackmailing her and would later kill her.
While he was supposed to be helping her, university police officer Miguel Deras kept explicit photos of McCluskey — bragging to colleagues that he could “look at them whenever he wants,” an investigation concluded, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, the paper which first revealed the scandal.
Deras showed them off to at least three male colleagues — with the other officers saying he was saying “lucky” to work on a case with a “cute girl,” the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) report stated. Just nine days after she reported the case, McCluskey was shot dead by Rowland — who then killed himself the same day.
Deras’ boss, Logan City police chief Gary Jensen, announced Friday that the shamed cop’s employment had “ended effective immediately.”
The “thorough internal review” proved that “Deras mishandled sensitive evidence pertaining to the Lauren McCluskey extortion and subsequent homicide case,” Jensen said in a statement.
“The conclusions drawn in the DPS report are inconsistent with the high expectations and standards placed upon our officers by the community and our department,” Jensen said.
“Our continuing efforts to hold sacred the public’s trust and our duty to serve and protect has resulted in today’s decision,” Jensen said.
McLuskey’s parents, Jill and Matt, called for an “independent review” into how police and the university failed to “respond to her pleas for help” after her initial report of blackmail.
“The University of Utah continues to mislead, cover up the facts, and fail to take responsibility for the murder of our daughter,” they said in a statement shared by Fox13 reporter Erin Cox.
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