A former New Jersey prosecutor blasted University of Utah officials and campus law enforcement Thursday over the killing of 21-year-old student Lauren McCluskey. 

The October murder occurred after McCluskey broke up with her boyfriend, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, whom she discovered was a registered sex offender and had been lying about his age.

She called 911 and said she was being blackmailed and "threatened with compromising photos." She told the dispatcher she had notified campus police and called 911 again a week later. 

McCluskey said campus authorities "haven’t updated or done anything" and three days later, she was murdered. Rowland was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a church.


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Responding on "America's Newsroom," Bob Bianchi said McCluskey "did more than she should be required to do" by reporting the threats and blackmail to university police - who had jurisdiction over the matter - and to Salt Lake City police. 

"I'm really outraged by this. ... We are in 2018, these women should not have to repeatedly seek help. It should be a one-time call. ... All of these dots were there. ... She should have received protective services," he said, adding there had also been a report to university housing about the suspect attempting to bring a gun on campus to give to McCluskey. 

Bianchi said university president Ruth Watkins "should be fired" after making an "outrageous" statement that a report by university and state officials did not indicate McCluskey's death could have been prevented.

He said campus police officers failed "basic domestic violence 101" by failing to check Rowland's parole status after McCluskey's complaint and failing to conduct an in-person interview of the student. Bianchi said Rowland would have been arrested immediately if campus authorities checked his parole status and notified the appropriate authorities. 

"They should be wiped out to send a message," said Bianchi, referring to Watkins and the head of the campus police. 

Bianchi said campus police agencies, in many cases, "sweep things under the rug" because they do not want negative publicity. 

Watch the segment above.


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