Judge tosses child porn count against Steve Powell

Monday , May 07, 2012 - 7:42 PM

Gene Johnson

TACOMA, Wash.— A judge has dismissed a child pornography charge against Steve Powell, the father-in-law of missing Utah mother Susan Powell.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper agreed with defense attorneys who argued that the crime of possessing child pornography requires that the depictions include sexually explicit behavior or that the defendant have some control over the behavior of the children photographed.

Steve Powell was accused of secretly recording thousands of images of women and of two young, neighbor girls in their home as they took baths and used the toilet.

Prosecutors argued that Washington lawmakers changed the child porn law in 2010 to make clear that such activity is illegal. They did not immediately say whether they would appeal.

Powell still faces 14 counts of voyeurism. Jury selection in his case began Monday.

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