By Mike Baker Associated Press
TACOMA — Testimony in Steve Powell’s voyeurism trial came to an abrupt end Monday as prosecutors rested their case and defense attorneys declined to call their own witnesses.
The final volley of information explored a brief slice of Powell’s personal journals, concluding a trial with a very narrow scope. Neither side explored Powell’s relationship with daughter-in-law Susan, whose 2009 disappearance triggered scrutiny of the Washington man.
Powell himself was never called to testify. He faces 14 voyeurism counts, including accusations that he filmed two neighbor girls using their second-floor bathroom.
A Utah investigator testified about an entry in Powell’s journal that prosecutors say was uncovered during a search of his home last year. West Valley City Police Sgt. Todd Gray said that Powell wrote how he enjoyed taking video of “beautiful women of every age” and that he took the images for personal use.
Defense attorneys have at times pointed out that other people lived in Steve Powell’s home, including Susan Powell’s husband for a time after her disappearance. Josh Powell was under scrutiny for her disappearance before he killed himself and the couple’s two children this year.
Susan Powell’s father, Chuck Cox, had said after testimony that he wished his daughter had been a larger focus of the testimony. Authorities have said that many images in Steve Powell’s files included images of Susan Powell taken without her knowledge.
Cox said it appeared that prosecutors were trying not to prejudice the jury by referencing Susan Powell.
“I think they were being too cautious,” Cox said.
Powell was arrested in the voyeurism case last year after authorities investigating Susan Powell’s disappearance searched his home and found the images. Prosecutors say two neighbor girls filmed by Powell were about 8 and 10 when the images were recorded in 2006-07.
The girls, identified in court only by their initials, testified last week that it never occurred to them that someone might be filming them as they washed, got dressed or used the toilet in their second-floor bathroom.
Powell faces a standard sentence of around four years if convicted, but the state has alleged aggravating factors that could result in a longer term. Closing arguments for the case were set for Tuesday.