Judge rejects Steven Powell's request for state-paid sex offender treatment

Staff writerApril 18, 2014 

Steven Powell's request to have the taxpayers pick up the tab for his court-ordered sex offender treatment was rejected Friday, in no small part because Powell conceded in court that his argument was flawed.

Judge Ronald Culpepper denied Powell's request during a quick hearing in Pierce County Superior Court.

Culpepper said it was clear, as had been argued by the state Attorney General's Office, that Powell had cited the wrong statute when he filed a motion April 2 requesting that the state pay for his treatment.

That law requires the state to provide in-custody treatment to defendants sentenced under a particular scheme. Powell, though, was not sentenced under that scheme.

"I don't think that applies to you," Culpepper said.

Powell, who was released from prison late last month after serving 30 months for voyeurism, agreed.

"When I got out of prison, I was in a very limited sphere of contact, and I was not able to go to the law library," he said. "I concede the argument."

In his written motion that set up Friday's hearing, Powell said he should have received sex offender treatment while he was locked up and that state Department of Corrections officials made a mistake by not enrolling him in the program.

It was only right for the state to pay for the treatment now that he's out, Powell said in his motion.

Having lost that argument, Powell  on Friday asked that some language be added to the order denying his request. He specifically wanted a notation that the state Department of Corrections had found him not amenable to treatment while he was incarcerated.

Culpepper declined to add the language after assistant state attorney general John Samson objected.

A Pierce County jury in 2012 convicted Powell of multiple counts of voyeurism. Prosecutors argued he surreptitiously photographed two school-age neighbor girls as they bathed and used the toilet in their home.

Evidence used to convict him was uncovered by detectives searching for clues in the disappearance and presumed murder of Powell's daughter-in-law, Puyallup native Susan Cox Powell.

She went missing from her Utah home in 2009, and authorities were investigating her husband, Josh Powell, when they searched his father's home.

Josh Powell, who moved to Pierce County after his wife's disappearance, killed himself and his and Susan Cox Powell's two young sons in February 2012.

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