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Steven Powell sentenced for voyeurism

FILE - Steve Powell is led out of court after hearing the verdict in his trial, Wednesday, May 16, 2012, in Tacoma, Wash. A jury convicted Powell on all 14 charges in a voyeurism case that stemmed from an investigation into the 2009 disappearance of his daughter-in-law Susan Powell, a Utah mother of two who has never been found. Two counts of voyeurism were thrown out during sentencing on Friday. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Steve Grffin)

The judge called Steven Powell the “ultimate creep of a neighbor” before sentencing him to nearly two-and-a-half years in prison on 12 counts of voyeurism.

The father-in-law of missing Utah woman Susan Powell has been sentenced to 30 months with 36 months community custody in a Washington state court for recording images of two young neighbor girls in their bathroom.

After time served, Steven Powell would be free in approximately 21 months.

As the sentencing hearing commenced, defense attorney Mark Quigley argued for the some of the conviction counts to be thrown out. Judge Ronald Culpepper ultimately threw out two of the 14 counts of voyeurism of which Powell had been convicted. Quigley argued that many of the photos had been taken on the same day, but in court, the judge could only determine that two images appeared to be from the same time period as two others.

Pierce County prosecutors asked for an exceptional sentence of 10 years for Steven Powell. Culpepper agreed that an exceptional sentence was warranted, but that 10 years was extreme for the situation.

“We ask for an exceptional sentence when we think it is just and it makes sense, and the court is at least likely to agree with us,” said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist told 97.3 KIRO FM. “Clearly we believe that Mr. Powell is exactly the type of offender and this is the type of case where an exceptional sentence is just and makes sense.”

Powell’s attorneys sought zero to 12 months. They said 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.

“As I indicated earlier, Mr. Powell is 62 years old, without any criminal history; he has a bachelor’s degree, many years of productive work experience – basically a productive member of the community,” argued Quigley.

The mother of the two victims in the case spoke tearfully before the court as well, addressing most of her comments to Steven Powell directly.

“I have yet to hear you apologize. You’ve sat their smuggly as if it’s perfectly normal to have committed your crimes. I don’t know how you can stand behind your actions,” she said.

The judge asked if Steven Powell twice if he would like to say anything, but he declined.

Powell is the father-in-law of Susan Powell, who disappeared from her home in West Valley City, Utah, in late 2009. His son – her husband – Josh Powell killed himself and two sons in a February fire at a home in Graham.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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