OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The voyeurism conviction of a missing Utah woman’s father-in-law may not be the last of his legal troubles, as an attorney said Thursday she is working on a lawsuit that could keep pressure on Steve Powell.
Lawyer Anne Bremner represents the family of two teenage girls who were the target of Powell’s voyeurism. She said the lawsuit should be filed in the next few weeks and will accuse him of violating the girls’ right to privacy and causing emotional distress.
Bremner said the family does not expect to get any substantial damages from Powell but hopes the lawsuit continues to pressure him to discuss Susan Powell’s still-unsolved disappearance.
“You just don’t want this guy to be in a position where he can prosper,” said Bremner, who also represents Susan Powell’s family. “It’s yet another way to keep pressure on him.”
Susan Powell vanished at the end of 2009, and authorities who investigated found her blood in the family home and a handwritten note in which she expressed fear about her husband, Josh Powell, and her potential demise.
Josh Powell later moved to Washington state to live with Steve Powell. He killed himself and the couple’s two young children earlier this year.
On Wednesday, a jury convicted Steve Powell of 14 counts of voyeurism in a case that stemmed from the investigation into his daughter-in-law’s disappearance.
Authorities who searched his home as part of that probe say they found thousands of images of females being photographed and videotaped without their knowledge, including Susan Powell.
The pictures of Susan Powell were not part of the voyeurism case. Instead, prosecutors focused on images Steve Powell captured of two neighbor girls, who were about 8 and 10 years old at the time the photos were taken. Prosecutors said the files show the young girls in a bathroom as they bathed and used the toilet.
The girls, identified only by their initials in court documents, testified that they had no idea they were being photographed. Bremner said the girls are particularly scarred by the situation as they are now teenagers and grappling with what happened to them.
Prosecutors said they didn’t plan on filing more voyeurism charges related to the photos of Susan Powell because of concerns about the statute of limitations.
Bremner, however, said prosecutors were open to a pitch about further charges and she was examining the law to see whether that might be possible.
An attorney for Steve Powell did not return a call seeking comment.
Authorities have said they want to speak with Steve Powell about his daughter-in-law’s disappearance but contend he has been uncooperative.
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