Crime

Steven Powell refuses to undergo sexual deviancy treatment, poses threat, jail report says

Steven Powell, the father-in-law of missing Puyallup native Susan Cox Powell, poses “a significant risk to public safety” because he refuses to undergo court-ordered sexual deviancy treatment, a state official contends.

Community corrections officer William Sheppard has recommended that Powell, 64, serve a sanction of 60 days in jail for violating the order, according to a report he filed Tuesday in Pierce County Superior Court.

“Regarding supervision, Mr. Powell continues to place the community at risk,” Sheppard wrote in his report. “Mr. Powell has made no attempts or shown any desire to comply with requirements of supervision or change his behavior.”

On Friday, Powell’s attorney, Travis Currie, told Judge Ronald Culpepper that Powell wishes to contest Sheppard’s findings. Culpepper scheduled a hearing for Nov. 21.

Powell allegedly has told state officials he is “uncomfortable” discussing his past sexual behavior with counselors, which is a prerequisite of treatment.

“On Aug. 26 I met with Mr. Powell in my office and asked why he was refusing to comply with the court order for treatment,” Sheppard wrote. “Mr. Powell indicated that he did not want to have his stuff on the Internet.

“I indicated to Mr. Powell that his treatment provider explained that the information about his treatment would only be shared with the Department of Corrections and that I found his behavior to be manipulative.”

A jury convicted Powell of multiple counts of voyeurism in 2012 and he served 30 months in prison. Authorities alleged he photographed two young neighbor girls as they used the toilet and bathed in a house adjacent to his.

Powell was ordered to undergo sexual deviancy treatment as part of his sentence and to “not enter parks, pools, playgrounds, school yards or other locations frequented by minors,” court records show.

Sheppard contends Powell violated those conditions by refusing to sign the necessary paperwork to get his deviancy treatment set up and by entering a Tacoma fast-food restaurant in July.

A Corrections Department hearing was held on the latter violation, and Powell was found guilty of “entering into an establishment where minors congregate,” records show. He was sentenced to nine days in jail as punishment.

Powell is being held in the Pierce County Jail on a charge of possessing child pornography, a charge originally dismissed as part of his voyeurism case but later reinstated following a Washington State Court of Appeals opinion.

He’s pleaded not guilty to that charge.

Powell is the father of Josh Powell, who was married to Susan Cox Powell when she went missing from the couple’s Utah home in 2009.

She is presumed murdered, and Josh Powell was the prime suspect in her disappearance when he killed their two young sons and himself in Pierce County in 2012.

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