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Steven Powell will stay in prison after landlord withdraws offer

Published: Sunday, July 5 2015 12:28 p.m. MDT

Steven Powell sits in a courtroom shortly after he was sentenced to 30 months in prison for voyeurism June 15, 2012, in Tacoma, Wash.  (Ted S. Warren, Associated Press) Steven Powell sits in a courtroom shortly after he was sentenced to 30 months in prison for voyeurism June 15, 2012, in Tacoma, Wash. (Ted S. Warren, Associated Press)

PUYALLUP, Wash. — Steven Powell will not be getting out of prison as soon as he thought he was.

Last week, Washington Department of Corrections officials announced that Powell, 63, would be released Nov. 4 and would be a tenant in a "privately owned home in Tacoma" where a "community corrections officer who is part of a specialized sex-crime unit will supervise" him.

Tuesday, corrections officials announced that the property owner "withdrew the offer to have him as a tenant upon his release from prison."

Powell is currently serving a prison sentence at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington for his conviction on 14 counts of voyeurism in May of 2012. A Tacoma jury found him guilty of taking photographs of two neighbor girls, then ages 8 and 10, with a telephoto lens while they were nude or partially nude in their bathroom.

Steve Powell will not be released from prison on Nov. 4 as announced last week. The landlord of his anticipated new residence withdrew his offer Tuesday, leaving Powell's release status up in the air. (Washington Department of Corrections) Steve Powell will not be released from prison on Nov. 4 as announced last week. The landlord of his anticipated new residence withdrew his offer Tuesday, leaving Powell's release status up in the air. (Washington Department of Corrections)

Powell has been eligible for early release since May, but has been unable to submit an "offender release plan" that the Washington Department of Corrections will approve. His original release plan was rejected because Powell proposed to return to live in his Puyallup home. Because of community concerns, that request was denied.

Powell can submit another release plan if he wants to. But in order for it to be approved, he "must have a safety plan for victims, a suitable address, a plan for the offender to participate in treatment and a plan for the offender to support himself," corrections officials said Tuesday.

Powell's release will now be delayed a minimum of one month. Even if a new plan were approved tomorrow, an inmate is required to stay an additional 35 days in prison while preparations are made for his release, such as notifying victims as well as local law enforcement in the area that he is about to move there, according to state officials.

If a suitable plan cannot be reached, Powell would be released in March when he'll have served his entire sentence.

Last week, Jennifer Graves, Powell's estranged daughter, said she was disappointed her father was getting out already and hoped that his time in prison would be longer.

When he was sentenced to prison, a judge ordered that when he was released, he would not be allowed to have any contact with his victims and would be banned from possessing any camera or video recording equipment, sexually explicit materials, joining any social media Internet sites such as Facebook, and unsupervised Internet access including on mobile devices.

He will be required to obtain approved employment and living arrangements, enter a "state approved sexual deviancy treatment program," submit to polygraph and plethysmograph tests, register as a sex offender for 10 years in the county he is living in, and submit a DNA sample.

Powell is the father of Josh Powell, who is suspected of killing his wife, Susan Cox Powell, nearly four years ago when they lived in West Valley City. Her body has not been found. Josh Powell also murdered his two young sons and committed suicide by setting his Graham, Wash., house on fire in 2012.

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