A jury has convicted Steven Powell of voyeurism charges that stemmed from an investigation into his missing daughter-in-law, finding him guilty on all 14 counts.
Powell looked off into a corner of the courtroom as the verdict was read. Anne Bremner, an attorney who represents Susan Powell’s family, smiled.
Authorities brought the voyeurism charges last year after searching Steve Powell’s home during their investigation into the disappearance of Susan Powell of Utah.
With the conviction on all 14 counts, Powell faces the possibility of up to five years in jail for each. His sentencing is scheduled for June 15.
Powell will also be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.
Prosecutors claim images used as a basis for the charges were found on a disc in his bedroom. Though they have said Susan Powell was the subject of many of Steve Powell’s photos, those images were not part of the case.
Instead, prosecutors focused on images of two young girls who lived next door to Steve Powell as he had hundreds of images of them bathing, getting dressed and going to the toilet.
Susan Powell’s family believes Steve Powell has information on her disappearance, and authorities say he has been uncooperative in the investigation.
Susan Powell’s husband, Josh, killed himself and the couple’s two young children earlier this year by taking a hatchet to his sons before blowing the house up.
During closing arguments yesterday, Pierce County prosecutor Grant Blinn methodically showed photos of the young girls to the jury while saying that Powell captured the images from his bedroom window.
‘He was sitting there, lurking in the shadows, leering at the girls,’ Blinn said. ‘It is difficult to imagine a more obvious invasion of privacy.’
Jurors deliberated for three-and-a-half hours yesterday before they were dismissed, according to ABC.
They returned twice to the courtroom seeking information on two issues – the first was to learn whether the evidence found in boxes only belonged to Steve Powell and the second was to ask for the disc in which Powell allegedly taped himself viewing the images of the young girls.
Prosecutors claimed Powell was ‘naked, urinating and masturbating’.
Today they returned to the courtroom about 45 minutes into deliberations to ask whether all of the exhibits had been presented to them.
In total they deliberated for six-and-a-half-hours to reach a unanimous verdict.
Authorities say the files show the young girls in a bathroom as they bathed and used the toilet. The girls, identified in court only by their initials, were about eight and ten years old when the images were captured.
They testified they had no idea someone had taken photos of them in the bathroom.
Defense attorney Travis Currie argued there were too many uncertainties in the evidence to convict.
He questioned whether Steve Powell was the one who actually captured the images, noting others lived in the home. He also wondered whether the images were used for sexual gratification.
‘There are people who are nosy, who like to spy on their neighbors,’ Currie said.
When talking about the burden of ‘reasonable doubt’, Currie reached as high as he could into the air, towering over the jury to emphasize how high of a bar that standard is.
Among the images recovered from Steve Powell’s home were many of Susan Powell that appeared to have been filmed without her knowledge, investigators said.
There were also journals in which Steve Powell detailed his obsession with Susan Powell, they said.
Much of that evidence has been barred from the trial as unduly prejudicial against the defendant. Steve Powell is not charged with acts of voyeurism involving Susan Powell because authorities can’t prove she didn’t know about the filming.