Father-in-law of missing mom arrested, faces child-porn charges

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The father-in-law of a missing Utah woman was charged with voyeurism and possession of child pornography and arrested Thursday, Pierce County authorities said. Steven Powell, 61, was arrested at his Puyallup, Wash., home and was expected to be arraigned Friday in Superior Court. Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Powell was charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possession of child pornography, based on evidence seized from his home in August as part of the investigation into Susan Powell’s 2009 disappearance in Utah. Powell is the father of Joshua Powell, Susan’s husband. A person who answered the phone at the Powell home Thursday night abruptly ended the call after a reporter identified himself. Detectives from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and West Valley City, Utah, Police Department executed a search warrant on Aug. 25 at the Puyallup residence where Joshua and Steven Powell live. They seized several computers, digital media, recordings, and photographs. West Valley Police who reviewed the videotapes and compact discs found “found thousands of images of females being videotaped without their knowledge, including Susan Powell. The photographer focuses on the women’s buttocks, breasts, and genital areas. Many images were of minor females,” Lindquist said in a statement. The images included shots of two girls who were as young as 8 and 10 years old at the time of the recording, the prosecutor said. Pierce County sheriff’s officers determined those girls lived next door to Steven Powell from June 2006 to August 2007. His bedroom window faces the side of the victims’ residence and the line of sight matches the camera angle seen in the photos, Lindquist said. The 14 voyeurism counts are based on separate incidents when each victim was recorded, the prosecutor said. The child porn possession count is based on possessing the images. The charges are felonies with a standard maximum penalty upon conviction of five years in prison.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!