Steven Powell will be in court Tuesday to face a charge of possessing child pornography, a count that was dismissed in 2012 during his voyeurism trial.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a news release Monday that he reinstated the charge after a state Court of Appeals ruling this summer that found the dismissal was made in error.
“We were always confident the child pornography charges were proper, and we are pleased the higher court agreed,” Lindquist said. “Mr. Powell should be held fully accountable for grossly violating the privacy of his young neighbors.”
Powell, who was arrested Monday on the reinstated charge, is the father of Josh Powell.
Josh Powell was the husband of Susan Cox Powell, the Puyallup native who went missing from her home in Utah in 2009. Josh Powell was being investigated in her disappearance and presumed murder when he killed their two young sons and himself in Pierce County in February 2012.
Detectives were searching Steven Powell’s home for clues in Susan Cox Powell’s disappearance when they found photographs and videos of his neighbor’s children.
Prosecutors say in court documents that he took and kept photos and videos of the two young girls in various states of undress. Powell used a camera with a telephoto lens to photograph the girls from his bedroom as they used their own bathroom in an adjacent home, court records show.
He originally was charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one of count of second-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
That was the charge that was thrown out after Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper decided the actions depicted in the photos and videos, which included the girls using the toilet and bathing, were not “sexually explicit.”
A jury in 2012 convicted Powell of 12 of the voyeurism counts, and he was sentenced to two years, six months in prison. He served his time and was released earlier this year.
Meanwhile, prosecutors appealed the dismissal of the child-porn count, and the Court of Appeals in June agreed with their arguments.
The appellate judges said the Legislature in 2010 expanded the definition of “sexually explicit conduct” to include the types of images Powell took of the girls. They remanded the case back to Culpepper for further action.
That is the decision Lindquist cited Monday in reinstating the charge against Powell, 64.