Before Josh Powell was going to try to win back custody of his children last week, Washington state authorities received materials from Utah police that had been discovered on a computer in Powell's home two years ago. Authorities say the images depicted "incestuous" sex and were disconcerting enough that they prompted a psychologist to recommend that Powell undergo an intensive psychosexual evaluation.
But a lawyer for Powell's in-laws, who had custody of the boys, wasn't invited to see the computer-generated materials before the custody hearing, even though a Utah judge had specified in a sealed court order that he was one of the few people allowed to see them.
"That would have absolutely given me the opportunity to submit a declaration about our deep concern. I was approved ... to view those pictures and I was never notified," Downing said. "I could have gone into all the reasons why the visitation could have or should have been restricted."
The images that were found were realistic computer-generated depictions of "incestuous" parent-child relations, therefore couldn't be deemed as child pornography since there were no real people involved.
Chuck Cox, Susan Powell's father, said the images were just another indicator of problems with Josh Powell. Cox said he did not know the details of the images. He believed the kids should have been fully taken away from Powell long ago and that they raised concerns about allowing him continued contact.
"How much does it take for them to figure out that he should not have the children?" he said. "It's just wrong. They needed to be taken out of that environment."