On Wednesday, a jury in Tacoma, Wash., convicted Steve Powell on 14 charges of voyeurism that stemmed from a 2009 investigation into the disappearance of his daughter in-law Susan Powell, who has not been found.
For six and a half hours over two days, the jury deliberated over the fate of Powell before reaching a unanimous verdict at approximately 12:00 p.m., Wednesday. Pierce County Court Judge Ronald E. Culpepper will sentence Powell on June 15, reported the Salk Lake Tribune.
He was convicted on all 14 counts of voyeurism as the prosecutors presented evidence that he had filmed two young neighbor girls using the bathroom and taking a bath in their own home in 2006. He faces maximum of five years in prison for each charge against him, reported according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Susan Powell's parents believe Steve Powell knows something incriminating regarding the disappearance of their daughter. Chuck Cox, Susan's father, said the family is relieved by the verdict. He hopes that the decision by the jury will enable the family to get closer to knowing the truth about what happened to their daughter.
It kicks another crutch away from him, Cox said, according to the Associated Press. The main question is: Where is Susan? Now, perhaps he'll answer it.
Authorities searching for Susan focused intently on her husband Josh as the prime suspect of her disappearance. However, earlier this year, he killed himself and his two children by blowing up a house.
Steve Powell's daughter, Alina Powell, attended the court proceedings in support of her father. She remained in the courtroom as the verdict was read, convicting her father of voyeurism.
My family was automatically convicted two-and-a-half years ago, Alina Powell said, referring to the night her sister-in-law disappeared.
Alina had seen the loss of several of her family members in what she described as an unimaginably complicated and difficult situation that even I have a hard time understanding.
Last year, authorities charged Steve Powell with voyeurism after they discovered thousands of images of females being photographed and taped as they searched his house for clues in connection with the disappearance of Susan Powell. Authorities said that among the images, they found pictures of Susan as well. However, prosecutors did include those images as evidence during the trial. Instead, the majority of their case focused on images of two young neighbors of Steven's.
Prosecutors said that the images show young girls in the bathroom while using the toilet and bathing, reported the AP. The girls were 8 and 10 when the pictures were taken. They were not identified in court, but testified that they were unaware the images were taken.
He was sitting there, lurking in the shadows, leering at the girls, Pierce County prosecutor Grant Blinn said during the closing arguments on Tuesday, reported Fox News.
However, Travis Currie, Powell's defense attorney said there were many issues regarding the case. He suggested that someone else in Powell's house could have taken the photos because his son also lived in the home. He also questioned whether the photos were used for sexual pleasure or to be meddlesome.
There are people who are nosy, who like to spy on their neighbors, Currie said.
Dodd Tremaine, a truck driver from Tacoma, said the images were very disturbing. The jurors were affected by the closing arguments during which Currie emphasized reasonable doubt. He also said that the Susan Powell case played no role in the conviction.
We eliminated that right from the beginning, Tremaine said. We never even discussed it.
At this time, prosecutors said they do no not plan to seek to reduce Powell's sentence in exchange for information on Susan Powell.