Josh Powell Now Subject of Child-Porn Investigation

Susan Powell's Husband Faces Child-Porn Investigation
Josh and Susan Powell
Chris Detrick/The Salt Lake Tribune/AP; Amber Hardman/AP

updated 09/28/2011 AT 10:45 AM EDT

originally published 09/28/2011 AT 07:30 AM EDT

Following last week's arrest of Steven Powell – the father-in-law of missing Utah woman Susan Powell – on child-porn possession and voyeurism charges, Steven's son and Susan's husband, Josh Powell, is also the subject of a child-porn investigation, according to Washington state assistant attorney general John Long.

Josh and his two sons had been living in Steven's house. The accusation about the child porn drew an immediate denial from Josh. "I have had nothing to do with any kind of illegal pornography," he said in a court hearing Tuesday.

Steven, 61, was arrested in his Puyallup, Wash., home and booked on suspicion of 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Some of the subjects in the images were videotaped without their knowledge and were as young as 8 and 10, said prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Steven Powell has pleaded not guilty.

Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer told Tacoma's News Tribune that everyone in Steven Powell's house is a person of interest. "We have not eliminated anybody and we are not at the point of arresting anybody else," Troyer said.

Sons with Maternal Grandparents

Following Steven's arrest, the state Children's Administration removed Susan and Josh's 4- and 6-year-old sons from his home. The boys have been placed in the home of Susan's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, until further court notice, said Sherry Hill, a spokeswoman for the Children's Administration,reports Fox News.

"The Cox family has had a very good and very strong relationship with these children," Chuck Cox's attorney, Steve Downing, said Tuesday afternoon. "They had a joyous reunion and that's all I can say."

According to Fox, the attorney also told Judge Kathryn Nelson that the children were at risk because they had never received counseling about their mother's 2009 disappearance, they possibly were exposed to their grandfather's alleged inappropriate videos, and they had been estranged from their maternal grandparents without explanation.

"Those kids may know something, and he sure as the dickens doesn't want them talking to anybody," Downing told the court, reports the Associated Press.

Josh Powell insisted he's a good, loving father, no harm was coming to his kids, and there has been no exposure to any pornography. He also stated that his family would not be posting the $200,000 bail for his father, and should Steven Powell return home, Josh and his sons would check into a hotel.

"There is no clear and present danger to my sons," he said.

Josh Powell initially told investigators he last saw his wife the night of Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009, at their then-home in West Valley City, Utah, southwest of Salt Lake City, when he took their sons for an overnight camping trip. He has since refused to talk to authorities, and has suggested his wife ran off with another man.
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