Steven Powell must pay a $1.8 million judgment to two girls he secretly photographed in their bathroom despite his claim that the penalty was “excessive,” a Pierce County Superior Court Judge ruled late Friday.
Powell, 63, had asked Pierce County Superior Court Judge Vicki Hogan to vacate the judgment. He represented himself in his court filings.
Hogan rejected his request, and declined to hear oral arguments from him and attorney Anne Bremner, who represented the girls.
Hogan found that written arguments from Powell and Bremner were sufficient to uphold the penalty. The judgment is intended to compensate the girls for counseling, medical care and suffering.
A jury in May 2012 convicted Powell of 14 counts of voyeurism. He is serving a 30-month sentence in prison.
Prosecutors said Powell used a camera set up in his bedroom to video record and photograph the girls, then 10 and 8, while they used a bathroom in an adjacent home.
“Both children experienced extreme trauma of unspeakable magnitude,” their lawyers wrote in court records.
The girls and their mother sued Powell last year. At an August hearing, Hogan determined the girls’ damages to be $1.8 million.
The former Puyallup-area resident now owes $1.9 million because of the interest that has accrued on the penalty since Hogan awarded it, according to an affidavit Bremner filed in Pierce County Superior Court on Wednesday. He has no assets to pay it, according to the document and his own statement appealing the judgment.
Bremner in court filings wrote that Powell did not offer a sound legal reason to overturn the financial judgment. Powell wrote that the penalty was “excessive” and “substantial justice has not been done.”
Bremner countered that Powell’s “motion to vacate instead focuses on his dissatisfaction with the outcome.”
Steven Powell is the father of Joshua Powell and father-in-law of missing Utah mother Susan Cox Powell. Joshua Powell killed his two sons last year in Pierce County by striking the boys with a hatchet and then setting his house on fire with them and him in it.
Adam Ashton: 253-597-8646