Voyeurism trial against Steven Powell begins Monday

Posted at 8:42 PM, May 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-06 23:47:56-04

A trial for the father-in-law of missing West Valley City woman Susan Powell is set to start Monday.

Steven Powell is facing 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of child pornography after police say an August 2011 search of his house found thousands of pornographic videos and images of children and adult women, including Susan Powell.

The search warrant of the Puyallup, Wash., home of Josh and Steven Powell was executed by investigators from the West Valley City Police Dept. and Pierce County Sheriff's Office as part of the investigation into Susan's Dec. 2009 disappearance.

Defense attorneys for Powell had tried to get the trial thrown out, saying the search warrant was random and investigators didn't have probable cause, but a judge ruled late last month that the evidence obtained from the search warrant can be used in the trial.

"This investigation was stale. The police were frustrated. Quite honestly, they needed a reason to search the Powell household to look for further evidence and conduct a general search," said Mark Quigley, defense attorney.

"Officers carefully played by the rules when they searched Steven Powell's home, and we are pleased the judge agreed the search was lawful," said Mark Linquist, Pierce Co. Prosecutor.

WItnesses against Powell include officers from both West Valley City and Pierce County, and Steven's daughter Jennifer Graves.

"There were crimes committed. He needs to be held accountable for those and go on trial for those," said Graves. "I am prepared. I told them I would do it."

The trial against Steven Powell begins on Monday with jurors being selected from a pool of 70. Opening statements are expected on Wednesday.

If Steven is convicted, he could get a total of 75 years in prison.