Police chief orders new probe of explicit-photo allegations

FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2018, file photo, a photograph of University of Utah student and track athlete Lauren McCluskey, who was fatally shot on campus, is projected on the video board before the start of an NCAA college football game between Oregon and Utah in Salt Lake City. The parents of a University of Utah student killed on campus by an ex-boyfriend said Monday they feel a fresh sense of betrayal after new allegations surfaced that a police officer investigating her report kept explicit photos that were intended as evidence. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — The chief of the University of Utah police department is ordering a new, outside investigation into allegations that an officer showed off explicit photos of a woman reporting she was being extorted by a man she had dated, shortly before he killed her.

The review from Chief Rodney Chatman comes after the Salt Lake Tribune unearthed the new allegations in the 2018 death of track athlete Lauren McCluskey. University officials said an internal probe found that the officer, Miguel Deras, had shown the photos briefly in a professional context, but unnamed officers who spoke to the Tribune said he “bragged” about having the images.

Chatman said Monday he has concerns with the thoroughness of the original investigation, and the officers who completed it have been placed on administrative leave during the new review.

“It is inexcusable for a police officer to inappropriately share or discuss photos or information provided by a victim seeking justice,” he said in a statement.

He pledged to release the results of the new probe publicly, in an effort to help the department “regain credibility” since McCluskey’s death.

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