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 University of Utah did not reach a settlement after two days of mediation with the parents of slain track star Lauren McCluskey who filed a $56 million lawsuit over her death in 2018.

The McCluskeys' attorney Jim McConkie described the talks as frank but unsuccessful, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“We understand better now what the issues are,” McConkie said Wednesday, adding that Jill and Matt McCluskey are disappointed in the university but still willing to discuss and work through differences.

The McCluskeys first sued in June 2019 after their 21-year-old daughter Lauren McCluskey was shot outside her dorm in October 2018 by a 37-year-old registered sex offender on parole who she briefly dated. The man died by suicide hours after the shooting, authorities said.

The lawsuit alleges the university could have done more to protect McCluskey after claiming she contacted campus police multiple times prior to the shooting saying her ex-boyfriend was harassing her.

The university has maintained that it was not liable for her death because her attacker was not affiliated with campus.

The university said in a statement Wednesday that it “hoped to reach an agreement that established a legacy that honored Lauren’s memory and benefited our students through an enduring commitment to best practices in campus safety.”

The lawsuit will next move forward again with an initial hearing before a judge.

The McCluskeys' attorneys have said a separate lawsuit will be filed and handled concurrently. That lawsuit alleges the university violated the state Constitution and denied Lauren McCluskey equal protection under the law.

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