Susan Powell's father-in-law charged with voyeurism, possessing child porn

Sep 23 2011 - 11:29am

Images

(Dean J. Koepfler/The Associated Press) Approximately two dozen law enforcement office officers from the West Valley City Utah Police Department and Pierce County Sheriff's Department investigate the home of Josh Powell, husband of missing Utah mom Susan Powell, and his father Steve Powell in Puyallup, Wash., in this Aug. 25, 2011 file photo.
In this Aug. 19, 2011, photo, Steven Powell, the father-in-law of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, talks in Puyallup, Wash., about the search for Susan Powell. Steven Powell was charged with voyeurism and possession of child pornography and arrested Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, Pierce County (Wash.) authorities said. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Rick Egan)
(Dean J. Koepfler/The Associated Press) Approximately two dozen law enforcement office officers from the West Valley City Utah Police Department and Pierce County Sheriff's Department investigate the home of Josh Powell, husband of missing Utah mom Susan Powell, and his father Steve Powell in Puyallup, Wash., in this Aug. 25, 2011 file photo.
In this Aug. 19, 2011, photo, Steven Powell, the father-in-law of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, talks in Puyallup, Wash., about the search for Susan Powell. Steven Powell was charged with voyeurism and possession of child pornography and arrested Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, Pierce County (Wash.) authorities said. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Rick Egan)

TACOMA, Wash. -- Sheriff's detectives arrested the father-in-law of Susan Cox Powell, after finding more than 2,000 sexual images of girls and women in his Puyallup home after a search last month in connection with the missing Utah mother's disappearance.

Steve Powell, 61, was charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the second degree, prosecutor Mark Lindquist said.

Investigators took him into custody Thursday night, Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Some images were of Susan Powell, the 28-year-old Puyallup native who disappeared from her West Valley City, Utah, home in December 2009, Troyer said.

Most were of other females. Those photographed ranged from 7 years old to adults. Some of the victims photographed were nude. Detectives believe many of the girls and young women photographed were unaware they were being watched.

The photos -- which focused on the victims' intimate parts -- were taken in public or through windows with a telephoto lens, Troyer said. Some were taken from Steve Powell's home, he said.

The voyeurism counts are based on separate incidents when each victim was recorded in the bathroom, Lindquist said.

The images were on videotapes and compact discs found in Steve Powell's bedroom when authorities served a warrant on the home Aug. 25, Troyer said.

Utah investigators reviewed the evidence taken from the home and, after finding the images of young girls, contacted the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, Troyer said.

Sheriff's investigators took over the investigation of the images, which had been organized and labeled, some marked "neighbors."

They believe the voyeurism took place from June 2006 to August 2007, Troyer said.

At this point, investigators do not suspect Josh Powell -- Steve Powell's son and Susan Powell's husband -- to be involved. Josh Powell, identified as the only person of interest in his wife's disappearance, was not taken into custody.

Josh and Susan Powell were both natives of Puyallup. He and the couple's sons moved back to the area after Susan Cox Powell's disappearance and have been living with his father.

Steven Powell has increasingly become a figure in the investigation. Investigators have been to his home at least four times since his daughter-in-law's disappearance.

After investigators spent several hours searching Steven Powell's home last month, Steven Powell told reporters the investigators were looking for Susan Powell's journals and they took his as well.

He had said there were "embarrassing things" in his entries.

His arrest came as Utah investigators continued to scour a desert area in Utah in connection with Susan Powell's disappearance.

Susan Powell was last seen at the family's home Dec. 6, 2009.

(Contact reporter Stacey Mulick at stacey.mulick@thenewstribune.com.)

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.scrippsnews.com.)

 

 

 

 

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