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Lauren McCluskey's parents end lawsuit after multi-million dollar settlement

Jill, Lauren and Matt McCluskey (Photo: Courtesy McCluskey family)
Jill, Lauren and Matt McCluskey (Photo: Courtesy McCluskey family)
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The parents of slain University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey dismissed their federal lawsuit Tuesday after reportedly getting paid their nearly $14 million settlement from the university and state.

A motion filed in the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City said Jill and Matt McCluskey would dismiss their claims no later than 15 days after payment. A judge signed an order dismissing the case with prejudice, meaning it can not be filed again.

The settlement agreement was reached last fall and was announcement the anniversary of Lauren McCluskey's death. The state paid $10.5 million to the McCluskeys and the university paid $3 million as a donation to the Lauren McCluskey Foundation. Earlier this month, the Utah Legislature unanimously approved the payment.

Lauren McCluskey was shot and killed on campus by her ex-boyfriend Melvin Rowland in October 2018.

Court documents state Rowland lied about his age and criminal history. He was a felon who was on parole after serving a decade in prison for a sex crime. When Lauren McCluskey found out the truth, she tried to end their relationship, but Rowland began persistently contacting and threatening her.

Jill and Matt McCluskey filed their first lawsuit, regarding civil rights violations under Title IX, against the U in June 2019, eight months after their daughter was killed. The McCluskey's claimed the university failed to protect their daughter, who had contacted campus police more than 20 times in the days leading up to her death, and ignored her reports.

"[He] could have and should have been detained immediately based on his possession of a firearm, sexual abuse, stalking, extortion, and impersonating an officer," a statement previously released by McCluskey's legal team states.

Jill and Matt McCluskey filed a second lawsuit against the school in 2020 June, stating in the weeks leading up to her murder, Lauren McCluskey was "being sexually and physically abused, stalked, and threatened by her eventual killer" and that the police "dismissed and avoided her requests for help."

The lawsuit also referenced a former University of Utah police officer who is accused of showing off explicit photos of Lauren McCluskey that were evidence in her extortion case against Rowland, who was allegedly trying to blackmail her before her death. To keep the photos from going public, Lauren McCluskey reportedly paid Rowland $1,000.

Investigators found no evidence of file sharing. Deras did not download or transfer intimate photos of McCluskey, according to the report. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced no charges would be filed against Deras.

Deras did, however, show at least three of his male co-workers the photos in a setting not related to work, the report states.

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Both lawsuits proceeded simultaneously.

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