SALT LAKE CITY — The former University of Utah police officer who showed an explicit photo of student Lauren McCluskey to colleagues at the scene of her murder and in other settings won’t face criminal charges for doing so.

Utah’s laws provide no avenue to prosecute Miguel Deras, said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. He is now working with a state lawmaker to clarify that it’s a crime for law enforcers to share a victim’s private information with those not on the case.

“I think the anger or the frustration people feel, that is legitimate,” Gill said. “But there is just not a criminal remedy that is available. And it was not for lack of trying to find it. It was frustrating for our team.”

Parolee Melvin Shawn Rowland, 37, shot and killed McCluskey on campus on Oct. 22, 2018, before taking his own life, Salt Lake police said. She had ended their relationship roughly two weeks earlier after learning he was a registered sex offender who had lied about his identity and age.

Rowland responded by stalking and harassing her, then extorted her by threatening to share the photos of McCluskey.

Her mother, Jill McCluskey, said Gill’s conclusion will deter others from seeking justice.

“Miguel Deras showed Lauren’s private images to officers unrelated to her case,” Jill McCluskey wrote in a tweet. “It is a misdemeanor to share nude photos w/o consent. Deras’ actions caused harm to us & to women who will now hesitate to report to police.”

Jill and Matt McCluskey sued the school over their daughter’s death and say the university continues to cover up the facts and deny responsibility for her killing.

Gill on Thursday described the officer’s conduct as reckless for certain, but said his attorneys had doubts they could prove it was “knowing,” the standard needed to fit a charge of official misconduct, a class B misdemeanor.

Additionally, Utah’s revenge porn law stipulates that the offense must harm a person, Gill said, which can mean a company but not someone’s family or estate.

“We were left trying to force what we had into a statute that we couldn’t carry the legal burden on,” he told the Deseret News.

Attorney Jeremy Jones emphasized that Deras denies any wrongdoing, saying his client should not be considered a poster child for changes to the law.

Jones said his client acknowledges showing the photos to colleagues in a shift-change briefing as he sought guidance on how to store them, and showed one photo to help a sergeant at the scene identify McCluskey.

“Both of those were 100% legitimate,” Jones said. “This idea that Miguel did anything inappropriate with these photos is not true, has never been true and is not supported by the DPS findings.”

Nearly two years ago, McCluskey sent the pictures to Deras so he could investigate the case. And although state investigators didn’t conclude he saved the files or emailed them to anyone, he accessed them multiple times and showed them to others on his phone on at least four occasions, according to the review conducted by the Utah Department of Public Safety .

On two occasions before McCluskey’s death, Deras showed the photos to fellow officers and supervisors in asking how to handle the digital evidence.

Sometime after that, he showed the images to colleagues again, investigators wrote, with some officers reporting “some unprofessional comments being made” and one recalling Deras saying he could look at the pictures “whenever he wanted.”

In response to the findings, students at the university have called for the police department to be disbanded.

Rep. Andrew Stoddard, a Sandy Democrat and a municipal prosecutor in Murray, is working on a measure he says will protect a victim’s private information — from intimate photos to pages of a diary — by restricting access to officers on the case.

He’s still hashing out the details ahead of the 2021 Utah Legislature. Under his proposal, sharing the materials with other colleagues not on the case would be a misdemeanor offense similar to improperly sharing information under state records law.

Stoddard said he believes his colleagues support such a bill.

“Honestly I would love it if this were a bill that passed, and then the statute never got used because it never happened,” he said.