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Father-in-law of missing woman guilty of voyeurism amid mystery

A jury Wednesday convicted Steve Powell on all 14 charges in a voyeurism case that stemmed from an investigation into the 2009 disappearance of his daughter-in-law Susan Powell, a Utah mother of two who has never been found.

Steve Powell simply looked off into a corner of the courtroom as the verdict was read, showing no emotion. Attorney Anne Bremner, who represents Susan Powell's family, smiled.

Susan Powell's parents believe that Steve Powell knows something about her disappearance, and her father, Chuck Cox, said they were relieved by the verdict. He said he hoped the decision would get the family closer to knowing what happened to their daughter.

"It kicks another crutch away from him," Cox said. "The main question is: Where is Susan? Now, perhaps he'll answer it."

Authorities long focused on Susan Powell's husband, Josh, during the missing-persons investigation, but he killed himself and the couple's two young children earlier this year. Investigators have said Steve Powell has been uncooperative during the probe.

Authorities brought the voyeurism charges last year after searching Steve Powell's home during their investigation into Susan Powell's disappearance.

They allege they found thousands of images of females, including Susan Powell, being photographed and videotaped without their knowledge. But the pictures of Susan Powell were not part of the case. Instead, prosecutors focused on images of two young girls who lived next door to Steve Powell.

Dodd Tremaine, a Tacoma truck driver who served as jury foreman, said after the verdict that the images in the case were disturbing. He said that jurors were affected by closing arguments in which defense attorneys emphasized the high bar of "reasonable doubt" but that they believed the prosecution had built a strong case.

Jurors were aware of the Susan Powell investigation, he said, but it played no role in their decision.

Prosecutors said they don't plan to seek information on the Susan Powell case as part of a trade to reduce Steve Powell's sentence.

He likely faces a standard sentence of about four years in prison, but the state has alleged aggravating factors that could result in a longer term.