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U of U officer in McCluskey case warned for mishandling another domestic violence report

Posted at 10:06 PM, Jul 01, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY — The officer accused of mishandling Lauren McCluskey's case was formally disciplined just months later — for another case.

Officer Miguel Deras was never disciplined after failing to tell the University of Utah police department about concerning reports from McCluskey, claiming her killer, Melvin Rowland, had tried to impersonate an officer to lure her from her dorm.

However, a few months later, Deras received a written warning after making similar mistakes with another woman on campus.

This information comes from a public records request filed by the Salt Lake Tribune.

“The officer let the suspect that she was trying to report just sit down next to this woman as she was trying to tell him what was going on,” Tanner said of an incident in February.

Deras went to speak with a woman who had reported an assault by a boyfriend. When he arrived, the boyfriend was there, and Deras proceeded to interview the woman in front of the suspect. He also failed to run the man's name through the parole system, even after he told the officer he was on parole and tried to call his parole officer during the interview.

“That was kind of a big problem in the McCluskey case — that no officers at the University of Utah Police Department ever checked that Melvin Rowland was on parole," Tanner said. "Some of McCluskey's concerns could have been used against him in violation of his terms of release."

Lauren McCluskey's parents sent a statement to Fox 13 regarding the issue:

Matt and Jill McCluskey are suing the university for the way police and administrators handled and responded to their daughter's case.

More information can be found in Courtney Tanner’s article in the Salt Lake Tribune.