(TACOMA, Wash.) — Steven Powell, the father-in-law of missing woman Susan Powell, was found guilty of voyeurism in a Washington court Wednesday for taking inappropriate images of neighborhood girls using the bathroom and showering.
The Pierce County, Wash., jury found Powell guilty of all 14 counts of voyeurism after only six and a half hours of deliberations.
He could be sentenced to nearly five years on each of the 14 counts. If he got the maximum, he could go to prison for 70 years. Prosecutors said they will seek an “exceptional” sentence for Powell.
Powell, 67, was arrested in November 2011 after Utah police searched the home he shared with his son, Josh, and grandchildren, as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Josh’s wife, Susan Cox Powell.
Josh was the only named person of interest in the investigation, sparking a two-year war of the words between Josh and his father, Steven, and Susan’s parents and the police that investigated the case.
Steven and Josh publicly threatened to post Susan’s girlhood diaries to a website, sparking the police raid on the house in September 2011 to obtain the diaries. The search yielded dozens of computer disks that contained images of women and young girls that focused on their private parts, according to prosecutors.
Following Steven Powell’s arrest, Josh Powell lost custody of his two sons and later killed the boys and himself in a fiery explosion at his home during a supervised visit.
During the trial, the jury saw images of two neighborhood girls, ages 8 and 10, that Powell was alleged to have taken from his bedroom window, which faced the bathroom of the girls’ home in back of his home. They were also shown pictures of Powell engaged in sexual activity, and read a journal entry in which Powell disclosed his interest in taking pictures of women.
Powell wrote that he enjoyed “taking video shots of pretty girls in shorts and skirts of every age,” but enjoyed images of Susan Powell the most.
Images of Susan Powell were also found on Steven Powell’s computer disks, but they were not admitted into evidence because the charges focused on the invasion of privacy of the two neighborhood girls.
Investigators working on the Susan Powell case asked to talk to Steven Powell about the case following Josh’s death, but he has denied those requests.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire