Entries in Steven Powell (7)


Steven Powell Sentenced to 2 1/2 Years After Voyeurism Conviction

ABC News(PIERCE COUNTY, Wash.) -- Steven Powell, the father-in-law of a missing Utah woman, Susan Powell, was sentenced Friday to 2 1/2 years in prison for taking inappropriate photos of neighborhood girls using the bathroom and showering.

In May, a Pierce County, Wash., jury found Powell guilty of all 14 counts of voyeurism after only six-and-a-half hours of deliberations.

Powell, 62, faced up to five years in prison for each of the 14 counts.

Prosecutors were asking the judge to sentence Powell to 10 years in jail, and the mother of one of his victims in a quavering voice asked the judge to give Powell a maximum sentence.

Powell's defense was asking for a sentence of zero to 12 months in jail, noting that the pictures could have been taken before the state ranked voyeurism a felony in 2006. It also argued that, though the pictures were inappropriate, Powell never left his home or interacted with the girls.

Powell was arrested in November 2011 after Utah police searched the home he shared with his son, Josh Powell, and grandchildren, as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Josh Powell's wife, Susan Cox Powell.

Josh Powell was the only named person of interest in the investigation, sparking a two-year war of the words between Josh Powell and his father, Steven Powell, and Susan Cox Powell's parents and the police that investigated the case.

Steven and Josh Powell publicly threatened to post Susan Powell's girlhood diaries to a website, sparking the police raid on the house in September 2011 to obtain the diaries. The search yielded dozens of computer disks that contained images of women and young girls that focused on their private parts, according to prosecutors.

Following Steven Powell's arrest, Josh Powell lost custody of his two sons and later killed the boys and himself in a fiery explosion at his home during a supervised visit.

Investigators working on the Susan Powell case asked to talk to Steven Powell about the case following Josh Powell's death, but he has denied those requests.

Alina Powell, Steven Powell's daughter, was saddened by the verdict.

"My family was automatically convicted two and a half years ago; since then, I have lost a sister-in-law, a sister, a brother, two darling nephews, and a great Dad, to an immeasurably complicated situation that even I don't fully understand," she wrote in a statement to ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Videos Show Susan Powell with Father-in-Law Before Disappearance

Courtesy of the Powell Family(NEW YORK) -- Susan Cox Powell was pleasant and warm toward her father-in-law Steven Powell before she disappeared in 2009, in contrast to allegations that she was very wary of him, according to a new website featuring home videos and songs of the Powell family.

The website, titled West Valley and Pierce County Malfeasance, was released on Tuesday exclusively to ABC News by Steven Powell's daughter, Alina Powell.

It was unveiled on the same day that her father's trial on voyeurism charges went to the jury.  Steven Powell is accused of filming and photographing two girls, ages 8 and 10, as they used the bathroom in the home behind Steven's house.

The site aims to show the Powells' side of a two-and-a-half year feud with Susan's parents, as well as between the Powells and the police departments that investigated Susan's disappearance.

Alina Powell said that the videos on the new website won't affect the outcome of her father's case, but are intended to begin offering another side of the Susan Powell story to those who are interested.

"The trial will conclude [today] one way or another," she said.  "I waited to put things out so as not to interfere with dad's case, but I've long been tired of seeing people say things they don't really know anything about.  (The website) is just kind of to start putting the truth and balance into this stuff."

Steven Powell was arrested in 2011 on charges of voyeurism and child pornography after a police search of his home yielded dozens of computer disks with images of naked women and girls. 

His son, Josh Powell, who was the only named person of interest in Susan's disappearance, later killed himself and his two sons in a fiery home explosion.  The videos released on Tuesday show a rare glimpse of the boys, who were kept out of the public eye while they were alive, laughing and playing with their parents.

Among the images found in Steven Powell's home were voyeuristic pictures of Susan that he had allegedly taken without her knowledge, although those pictures are not included in the charges.  Steve Powell claimed he had a flirtatious relationship before she disappeared.

Members of Susan's family and friends, as well as an estranged daughter of Steven Powell, have said that Susan was "repulsed" by her father-in-law and wanted Josh to sever ties with him.

The Powells' new website, however, claims that Susan was in fact comfortable around Steven, and shows home videos of the family together to prove it.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Steven Powell's Trial Haunted by Spectre of Missing Daughter-in-Law

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(TACOMA, Wash.) -- Defense attorneys opened the voyeurism trial of Steven Powell on Wednesday by stating it was "not about Susan Powell," and the evidence is not expected to shed light about what really happened to his daughter-in-law who disappeared in 2009.

Jurors in the Washington court were shown dozens of images that Powell, 62, allegedly took from his bedroom window of his young female neighbors, ages 10 and 8, as they undressed, bathed and used the bathroom.

They were also shown images Powell took of himself during a sexual act, and journal entries where Powell details feeling sexually "out of control," and focusing his "lust" on his daughter-in-law, Susan.

Defense attorneys for Powell were the first to mention Susan, who disappeared on Dec. 6, 2009.  Steven's son, Josh, was the only named person of interest in her disappearance, but he was never arrested or charged.

The investigation came to a violent halt when Josh Powell blew himself up along with his two young sons last February.

Investigators searching for clues into Susan Powell's disappearance searched the home Josh and Steven Powell shared in 2011 when they came across the computer disks and hard drives containing the images of the young neighborhood girls.  Steven Powell was then charged.

"You have heard about Josh Powell, you have heard about Susan Powell.  This case is not about them," said Mark Quigley, Powell's defense attorney.  "We will be challenging every piece of evidence the state puts on."

Susan Powell's parents and sister are attending the trial, and have said they hope it sheds light on what happened to Susan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Steven Powell Loses Bid to Toss Child Porn Evidence

Josh Powell. (KOMO/ABC News)(WASHINGTON) -- A bid by Steven Powell to have evidence of child pornography and voyeurism dropped was denied Tuesday by a Washington court.

The father of Josh Powell and father-in-law of missing Utah mom Susan Cox Powell appeared in court, sitting just feet away from Susan Powell’s parents, seeking to have the evidence against him ruled inadmissible. He argued that the 2011 search of his home, in which investigators seized dozens of video tapes and CDs containing thousands of images of naked young girls and women, was an illegal search.

Judge Ronald Culpepper, however, disagreed. He ruled that police rightfully obtained a warrant to enter the home Steven and Josh shared in order to take into police custody seven of Susan Cox’s journals, which Steven had shown on national television and said were key to the investigation.

Police took the journals along with Steven Powell’s numerous digital storage devices, where they found the child porn images. Many of the images were taken of Powell’s neighbors, two young girls whom he filmed while they bathed and used the bathroom, according to court documents. There were also images of naked women with Susan’s face transposed onto them.

Following the search and Steven’s arrest, Josh Powell lost custody of his two sons, who had been living with the Powell men since Susan Cox’s disappearance. In February, Josh Powell killed himself and the boys in a fiery explosion just days after he was ordered to undergo a psychosexual evaluation in order to regain custody.

Steven Powell has pleaded not guilty to the voyeurism and child porn charges.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Steven Powell Challenges Child Porn Evidence

Kevin Horan/Stone(SEATTLE) -- The father-in-law of missing Utah mom Susan Cox Powell could be released from jail this week if a Washington judge throws out his charges of voyeurism and child pornography.

Steven Powell, 67, was arrested in 2011 after police found thousands of images of naked young girls and women, including his daughter-in-law, while searching the home he shared with his son, Josh Powell.

The police were searching the home for clues in the case of Susan Powell's 2009 disappearance, in which Josh Powell was the only person of interest. Investigators told the judge who signed the search warrant that they were seeking handwritten journals Susan Powell kept while alive.

During the search, police seized dozens of video tapes, VHS tapes and CDs belonging to Steven Powell, leading to Steven Powell's arrest and the removal of Josh Powell's two sons from his custody because they shared a home with Steven Powell.

Josh Powell later killed himself and the two boys in a fiery explosion after being asked to undergo a "psychosexual" evaluation in order to regain custody of the children.

Monday, standing just a few feet away from Susan Cox Powell's parents, Steven Powell and his attorney Mark Quigley asked Judge Ronald Culpepper to rule that there was no probable cause for authorities to search the Powell home and no legal reason to seize the disks that contained the alleged child porn images. If the judge agrees, Powell could be released from jail this week.

"Their investigation was stale. The police were getting frustrated, and they needed a reason to enter the Powell residence for another search," Quigley said Monday.

The prosecution, however, told Culpepper that the search of the Powell home was done lawfully and was important to the investigation.

Police obtained the search warrant after seeing Steven Powell on national television "bragging" about having seven journals that Susan Cox Powell kept while she was alive, prosecutor Grant Blinn said Monday. Steven Powell said that journals were integral to the investigation, but refused to turn them over to police, Blinn said.

Police were left with only one choice: to search the Powell home to obtain the journals.

"The only reason we're here today at all is because Mr. Powell went on national television bragging that he had the journals and would not hand them over, but were important to investigation and is now fighting the search warrant to get the journals," Blinn said.

Powell has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The investigation, by the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, determined that two of the young girls Powell is said to have covertly taped lived next door, and that his bedroom window faced the side of the victims' residence and the line of sight matches the camera angle seen in the videos.

"In a majority of the images the photographer focuses on the intimate parts of females," the document said.

The judge could rule as early as Tuesday on the legality of the search, and Powell could be released from jail shortly after.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Susan Powell's Father-in-Law Arrested on Child Porn Charges

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(PUYALLUP, Wash.) -- The father-in-law of missing Utah mother Susan Powell was arrested Thursday night on charges of voyeurism and possession of child pornography, ABC News Seattle affiliate KOMO reports.

Steven Powell, 61, was apprehended at his home in Puyallup, Washington, where officials found videotapes and CDs containing "thousands of images of females being videotaped without their knowledge, including Susan Powell," according to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.  "The photographer focuses on the women's buttocks, breasts, and genital areas.  Many images were of minor females."

The recordings and photographs were seized while investigators searched Steven Powell's home to gather clues on his daughter-in-law's whereabouts.  Thursday's charges -- 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possession of child pornography -- are not tied to Susan Powell's disappearance.  She has been missing since December 2009.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer described some of the images seized: "We found many pictures of young girls as young as, we believe, 7 years old in explicit positions, pictures that he shouldn't have taken.  Pictures of girls in showers, on toilets, taking a bath."

Troyer said some of the girls featured lived near Steven Powell.

"We have photos from the neighbors' houses of little girls in bathrooms and naked and wholly inappropriate pictures with high-end lenses and we have identified the rooms.  We know who the victims are," he said.

Troyer said investigators are still going through the images and that more victims may have to be identified "unfortunately."

Steven Powell is expected to be arraigned on Friday, KOMO reports.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Police Search the Home of Missing Utah Mom's Husband, Father-in-Law

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- Dozens of investigators and members of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department are searching the Washington State home of the husband and father-in-law of missing Utah mom Susan Powell, ABC News affiliate KOMO in Seattle reported Thursday.

Investigators and forensic specialists were combing the Puyallup, Wash., home, which Powell's 35-year-old husband, Josh Powell, shares with his father, Steven Powell, and has been living with the couple's two young sons, Charlie and Braden.

Susan Powell was last seen in her home in 2009, but hasn't been seen or heard from since. While her husband has not been arrested or charged in her disappearance, police said he continues to be considered a person of interest.

Josh Powell maintains that he had nothing to do with the 2009 disappearance of his "unstable" and "very sexual" wife.

"Everyone who knows me knows that I would never hurt her and I would never hurt my boys," Powell said in an interview with ABC News. "I would never hurt anyone."

Steven Powell, Susan Powell's father-in-law, told ABC News that he and his son's wife had a highly flirtatious relationship that Josh didn't know about. He alleged that his missing daughter-in-law would frequently make passes at him and that he had a relationship with her that was "a little beyond the pale."

Susan Powell, then 28, was last seen on Dec. 6, 2009, at the West Valley City, Utah, home she shared with her husband and their two young sons, Charlie, then 4, and Braden, then 2.

Josh Powell told authorities that he had been camping with the boys -- in the midst of a blizzard -- the night his wife vanished.

Powell described his missing wife as an erratic and depressive person who contemplated suicide at several points in her life and would leave the house barely dressed.

Powell told ABC News that he felt his wife might still be alive. Though he said that he was unaware of any time that his wife was unfaithful to him, he wondered if she left him and their two young children for another man.

"She's a very sexual person," he said.

Josh Powell's characterization of his wife was supported by his father, Steven Powell, who spoke with ABC News about his relationship with his daughter-in-law -- one that he claims was very flirtatious. He also says that the two were in love.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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