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Man accused of shooting U of U student has a long history of sexual violence and harassment

Posted at 6:27 PM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 00:01:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Thanks to audio recordings from parole hearings released by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole, we're learning a lot more about the man accused of killing 21-year-old University of Utah student, Lauren McCluskey.

In these parole hearings, dating back to 2010, you can hear the voice of alleged killer, Melvin Rowland.

“Every woman I’ve met or came across, I used my manipulation tactics to get what I wanted,” said Rowland during a parole hearing in June 2012.

Here's the timeline of Rowland's criminal history. According to records from the Department of Corrections, in the summer of 2003, then 21-year-old Rowland met a 17-year-old girl on the internet. They met at her parent's home where he allegedly forced himself on her.

“You admitted to having sexual attraction to teenage girls and adult women who were vulnerable,” said Parole Board Officer, Kim Allen, during a hearing in June 2012.

Then a few months later, he contacted who he thought was a 13-year-old girl on the internet.

“You hooked up with what you thought was a 13-year-old virgin and it turned out to be a car load of cops,” said Allen during the 2012 hearing.

He was sentenced to prison in 2004, charged with inciting a minor and attempted forcible sexual abuse.

He was granted a parole date eight years later in July 2012.

“I caught my charge at 22. I got locked up at 23 and I'm 31 now. The only family I have is my two sisters. I know I have that capability of re-offending. Again, it’s something I'll have to prove,” said Rowland during his parole hearing in June 2012.

However, six weeks after getting out, he was arrested for violating his parole. After a year in prison, he was released on parole again in September 2013.

In January 2014 he got married and his son was born. However, two years later in February 2016, he violated parole again and was sent back to prison.

Then in January 2018, he had a rehearing with the parole board where he admitted to cheating on his wife and struggling with sexual preoccupations.

“By living a double life, I mean seeking attention from females at work, online, school,” said Rowland during a parole hearing in January 2018.

He was released in April 2018 and was under the supervision of parole when police say he shot and killed Lauren McCluskey.

The University of Utah Police Department said they couldn’t track down Rowland after McCluskey filed a report saying he was harassing her. They said he was homeless, but the Department of Corrections said they knew his address.

If Rowland had not been paroled, he would've been in prison until May 2019, the same month McCluskey was set to graduate from the University of Utah.