Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist reinstated a charge of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the second degree against Steven Craig Powell, 64. A 2012 search of his home revealed that Powell possessed photos of two young neighbor girls in their bathroom in various stages of undress. He was arrested today and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in room 270 of the County-City Building in Tacoma.
In 2012, Powell was charged with 14 counts of voyeurism for taking photos of two young neighbor girls. He was also charged with possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the second degree, commonly known as possession of child pornography. The judge dismissed the child pornography charge because he found that the images did not constitute “sexually explicit conduct.” This decision was overturned by the Washington Court of Appeals.
“We were always confident the child pornography charges were proper, and we are pleased the higher court agreed,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Mr. Powell should be held fully accountable for grossly violating the privacy of his young neighbors.”
A jury convicted Powell of the voyeurism charges, and deputy prosecutors Grant Blinn and Bryce Nelson argued for an exceptional sentence of 10 years. The judge sentenced Powell to 30 months in prison, which is above the standard range of 0 to 12 months. Powell served the full term before being released earlier this year.
Powell is the father of Josh Powell, who is suspected to have murdered his wife, Susan Powell, in Utah in 2009. The photos of the neighbor girls were discovered when police searched the Powell residence during the investigation into Susan’s disappearance. On Feb. 5, 2012, Josh killed himself and his two young sons when he burned down his rented home in Graham.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.