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Report: Susan Powell's father-in-law liked discussing sex with his kids

Susan Powell's father-in-law is addicted to child porn
Susan Powell Hardman Photography/Facebook

(CBS/KIRO/AP) TACOMA, Wash. - New details have emerged regarding the father-in-law of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, who was arrested this month after officers found images of girls and women at his Washington home while investigating Susan's disappearance.

Pictures: Missing Utah mother Susan Powell

Steve Powell, Josh Powell's father, was charged with voyeurism and possessing child pornography. Josh Powell said he wasn't aware of any illegal pornography and said there were no signs that it was in the home.

Details emerged Wednesday about Steve Powell's past in a 1992 divorce case from Spokane County. Case documents reviewed by The Associated Press show Steve Powell's ex-wife accused him of keeping pornography, damaging his children's respect for marriage and inappropriately discussing sex issues with the kids.

Terri Powell wrote in the divorce papers that Steve Powell talked of teaching his children about birth control methods when they were as young as 9-years-old. Terri's sister, Becky Mulcahy, wrote in the documents that Steve Powell told her that he had shown his youngest children books about sexual intercourse when they were 6- and 8-years-old.

Terri Powell said her husband viewed people as animals and that they should be able to have sex with anyone at any time. She recalled a conversation in which Josh referred to a girl his brother, Johnny, liked. "All she is good for is her body, right Dad?" Terri recalled Josh saying. "Yeah, that's right," Steve Powell replied, according to the declaration.

Terri Powell also said Steve Powell kept hardcore pornography in the home and that he visited pornography shops.

Jennifer Graves, Josh Powell's sister, said in an interview with The Associated Press that she broke off ties with her father in part because of his problems with sex and pornography. She recalled going on a business trip with her father when she was about 11-years-old and that he viewed a pornographic video while she was with him.

"Looking back, I wonder if he was willing to do that with a 10-12 year girl - his daughter - in the room, what else would he be willing to do?" she said.

Steve Powell has pleaded not guilty to 14 charges of voyeurism and one of possession of child pornography. He remains jailed on $200,000 bail. Prosecutors said that for at least a decade, he had been secretly filming women, including Susan Powell. He also shot footage of two young neighbor girls as they took baths and sat on the toilet.

In Wednesday's court hearing, Josh Powell advocated without an attorney that it was in the best interest of the children for him to keep caring for them. He also opposed the judge's decision to place them in the care of his in-laws, who have been openly critical of him.

Complete coverage of the Susan Powell case on Crimesider

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