A homeless street preacher who abducted, raped and kept a 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart captive for nine months was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.
Brian David Mitchell was found guilty in December of kidnapping Smart in 2002 and transporting her across state lines with the intent to engage in sexual activity. Jurors rejected the insanity defense mounted by his lawyers.
Smart testified at Mitchell's sentencing hearing Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Salt Lake City.
After Mitchell was sentenced, Smart told reporters that she was "thrilled with the results that came out today."
"The life sentence – I couldn’t be happier,” she said outside the court building.
Smart said she thanks everyone who ever prayed for her or made an effort to bring her home.
Police stopped Smart, Mitchell and Mitchell's wife on March 12, 2003, after a tipster spotted them outside a Walmart in Sandy, Utah, just a few miles from Smart's home.
In her testimony, Smart said she awoke to find a man holding a cold steel blade to her neck on June 5, 2002. She was taken from her bed and marched up a rugged mountain path in her red silk pajamas.
When they reached Mitchell's remote camp, Smart testified she was "sealed" to her captor in a marriage ceremony, raped and shackled between two trees with a metal cable. She said she was degraded and treated "like an animal."
Smart said she was raped nearly every day during nine months in captivity and forced to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and watch Mitchell have sex with his legal wife, Wanda Barzee.
She was forced to wear robes and a veil in public and was not permitted to speak to other people. She said she feared Mitchell would act on his threats to kill her and her family if she did.
She said Mitchell told her their marriage was preordained and that she would be by his side as he took seven times seven wives and successfully battled the Antichrist. They would hold exalted positions in God's new kingdom, she was told.
"I felt that because of what he had done to me, I was marked," Smart testified. "I wasn't the same. My personal value had dropped. I was nothing. Another person could never love me," she added. "I felt like I had a burden the size of a mountain to carry around with me the rest of my life."
Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper gets life sentence
Woman, abducted at 14 and raped for nine months, is 'thrilled with the results that came out today'
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