Court records give new details about the former student-athlete’s case that led to University of Utah detective’s firing

While University of Utah police Detective Kayla Dallof was fired for not immediately arresting a male student, the school has refused to release the police report describing her response — besides one sentence on an otherwise redacted page — or discuss any details of it.

But court records show that the student, who she investigated for threatening a 17-year-old girl and allegedly locking her in his dorm room, was later arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts. The case is still pending in Salt Lake City Justice Court.

The school’s athletics department said student privacy laws prohibit it from saying anything other than the student, who was a nonscholarship player for a few months on a U. sports team and didn’t appear in any games, was cut after the charges were filed.

The school won’t comment on whether a Title IX case was opened to investigate the allegations of harassment. After police began looking into the accusations in February, spokesman Chris Nelson said, the case was referred to the assistant dean of students for potential discipline and a possible investigation. The student no longer attends the U., he added, though he declined to say whether he was suspended, expelled or chose to leave.

The student’s attorney, Mark Moffat, said Wednesday: “There have been significant consequences for him because of this.”

Court documents add some detail to the case that came under the spotlight last week, after the U. released termination documents that showed Dallof lost her job over how she responded to it.

On Feb. 14, Dallof responded to a report from a 17-year-old girl, who was not a student at the U., but had gone to the police station to say that a month earlier a male student she had been dating temporarily trapped her in his dorm room and wouldn’t let her out.

A jail booking statement says he forcefully grabbed her by the arms and pulled her inside.

The girl also played a recent voicemail from the student. He was screaming in the message, mad that she wanted to break up with him. And at the end of the recording, he threatened her. If she didn’t call him back, he yelled, “I will kill you.”

The student’s booking statement said he had also sent several harassing Instagram messages to the 17-year-old girl. He faces two misdemeanor counts for threat of violence and unlawful detention of a minor — and has pleaded not guilty. He was booked and immediately released under bail.

Without the connection to Dallof’s firing, The Salt Lake Tribune generally would not report on such charges and has chosen to not name the student. He has no other criminal history, according to Utah court records.

The charges against him were filed in February, and a search warrant was served on the athlete’s phone. Additionally, a protective order has been secured by the 17-year-old girl — which is private because she is a minor.

But the case is still in the pre-trial process in court. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, whose office is handling the prosecution, said that time frame — more than six months — is not unusual. “All I can say is the case is being prosecuted by our office,” Gill noted.

U. Deputy Police Chief Rick McLenon said the department does not officially close a case until prosecution has wrapped up. “It’s in the attorney’s hands,” McLenon said.

Since her termination letter was released, Dallof’s attorney has challenged the U.'s description of the case.

Dallof had talked to the male student and he acknowledged he had detained the girl, according to the letter. Before leaving work, Dallof stopped by her supervisor’s office to tell him about the case.

Her termination letter says she then left without taking action. Her attorney said she asked the sergeant if she should arrest the man, and he said to hold off.

“She had run it up the chain of command,” lawyer Jonathan Thorne said, adding that Dallof told the sergeant that the athlete was making his own allegations against the 17-year-old that she wanted to investigate.

Her supervisor had asked her to send him the threatening voicemail before she left. After listening to it, he called her back in and the two arrested the student — which the termination letter said was necessary. “Leaving without taking immediate action on this matter is a complete dereliction of duty,” U. police Sgt. Kory Newbold wrote to Dallof.

The school’s police force has adopted a “zero tolerance” policy for domestic violence cases since student-athlete Lauren McCluskey was killed last fall. Newbold decided to fire Dallof for not following that rule in the subsequent case with the 17-year-old.

The detective had also been assigned to McCluskey’s case. She did little to investigate the student’s concerns before she was killed outside her dorm on Oct. 22 by the man she was trying to report, independent investigators found.

The details behind Dallof’s firing were released last week, five months after she left her position, because she has finished the appeals process.

—Tribune sports reporter Kurt Kragthorpe contributed to this story.