Steven Powell guilty on 14 counts of voyeurism

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 16 at 6:03 PM

Steven Powell was convicted of 14 counts of voyeurism in Pierce County court Wednesday, the latest development in the case of a Utah mother who has been missing since 2009.

The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on all counts, agreeing with prosecutors that images of girls and women in various states of undress found in Powell's possession last fall were used for sexual gratification.

Defense attorneys had argued there was too much reasonable doubt in the case to convict Powell.

One juror told KING 5 News the state "just presented a better case."

Powell had no visible reaction as Judge Ronald Culpepper read the verdict on each of the counts.

Powell is scheduled to be sentenced June 15. He faces a maximum of five years in prison for each of the 14 counts.

Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said his office will seek an exceptional sentence based on the large number of convictions (14). If the judge allows that, Powell faces a sentence of up to 10 years.

It is not clear whether Powell could serve consecutive sentences for each count, which could amount to a 70 year sentence. This is his first criminal conviction.

Powell will be interviewed by the Department of Corrections prior to the sentencing date.

Powell is the former father-in-law of Susan Powell, who has been missing since December 2009. Her husband, Josh Powell, who is also Steven's son, was a person of interest in her disappearance. He killed himself and the couple's two children in an explosion in Graham earlier this year.

During pre-trial motions, Culpepper ruled that images of Susan that were allegedly in Steven Powell's possession would not be admissible in the case.

The photographs prosecutors used as evidence were found at Powell's Puyallup home last fall when officers were searching for Susan's diaries.

Prosecutors showed jurors the images from which each charge stemmed, including videos of two girls using the bathroom, a girl either scratching or touching herself in a van, and a teen changing clothes in her bedroom. A video of Powell who appeared to be touching himself was also shown.

Susan Powell's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, have been present every day of the trial. Chuck Cox said he was relieved by the verdict and believes it brings justice to girls who were photographed.

Powell's daughter releases videos

Alina Powell released a number of videos on a website one day before her father's conviction showing Steven interacting with Josh and Susan as well as his grandsons.

The home videos were shot between 2007 and 2009. They were posted here: http://sites.google.com/site/westvalleymalfeasance/

Alina wanted the public to see Susan Powell did not appear to be against her children spending time with their grandfather.

Following the verdict against her father, Alina did not have any comment.

Information compiled by KING 5's Lindsay Chamberlain, Drew Mikkelsen.

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