TACOMA, Wash. – The father-in-law of missing Utah woman Susan Powell was sentenced Friday to 2 1/2 years in prison in a Washington state court for recording images of two young neighbor girls in their bathroom.
Pierce County prosecutors had asked for an exceptional sentence of 10 years for Steven Powell. His attorneys sought zero to 12 months, saying it's not clear exactly when Powell took the pictures, and it could have been before the state made voyeurism a ranked felony in 2006.
The 62-year-old was convicted last month.
Powell is the father-in-law of Susan Powell, who disappeared from her home in West Valley City, Utah, in late 2009.
His son and her husband, Josh Powell, killed himself and his two young sons in a February fire at a home in Graham. Josh Powell was the prime suspect in Susan's disappearance.
Steve Powell was arrested last September after investigators searching his home for evidence in Susan Powell's disappearance came across computer disks with what they described as thousands of images of women and girls who seemed unaware they were being photographed.
Those filmed, prosecutors say, included the neighbor girls, who were identified in court only by their initials and who were about 8 and 10 when the images were recorded.
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 had been barred from the trial as unduly prejudicial against the defendant. Steve Powell was not charged with acts of voyeurism involving Susan Powell because authorities couldn't prove she didn't know about the filming.