Utah police department fires cop accused of mishandling explicit images
Written by kslmadmin on August 8, 2020
Logan police officials took action Friday after the Utah Department of Public Safety issued a report this week that found Miguel Deras guilty of mishandling “sensitive evidence” in the case of 21-year-old Lauren McCluskey.
“The conclusions drawn in the DPS report are inconsistent with the high expectations and standards placed upon our officers by the community,” Police Chief Gary Jensen said.
Deras became a Logan cop after serving as a member of the University of Utah police force.
DPS found Deras acted inappropriately in showing the pictures to at least three male colleagues, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
One staffer recounted that Deras commented about getting to “look at them whenever he wants,” according to the paper.
Deras had been assigned to investigate McClusky’s complaint that a man she had dated named Melvin Rowland was sextorting her.
Rowland, a registered sex offender, fatally shot her in 2018 before killing himself.
Her death has roiled the institution and raised serious questions about how it handled her repeated reports that the man was harassing her before her death, including extorting her with the images she had sent him when they were involved, The Associated Press reported.
An attorney for Deras denied that his client bragged about the photos or made any inappropriate comments.
“From my client’s recollection, he never participated in that,” attorney Jeremy Jones said, adding that Deras showed the photos during a routine briefing, but only to ask how they should be handled and stored. “He didn’t ‘smoke and joke’ about the photos at any time.”
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