Seven years after her horrifying, headline-making abduction, Elizabeth Smart is testifying against her kidnapper.
Smart, now 21, is in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court revealing never-before-made-public of her ordeal at the hands of Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee.
Her testimony is part of hearing to determine Mitchell’s competence to stand trial.
Smart revealed for the first time how her kidnapper repeatedly raped her, using religion as a justification. She told the court that when Mitchell broke into her home and held a knife to her, he threatened to kill her entire family if she didn’t come with him.
He also forced drugs and alcohol on her in an attempt to make her less resistant as he raped her several times a day.
Here is part of the testimony where she describes the relentless horror she endured:
Tolman (the prosecutor): Did you ever get a break from being raped by the defendant?
Smart: Yes, when Wanda would get very upset with her, she said all you do is lust after her. In order to calm Wanda down, he would say, ‘I’ve received a revelation,’ but there wasn’t an actual 24-hour period he wasn’t able to rape me.
U.S. attorney for Utah Brian Tolman coaxed Smart into describing how the nightmare began:
Smart: He came into my room and held a knife to my throat and threatened me with my life and my family’s life to come with him.
Tolman: Did he do anything … ?
Smart: Yes, he placed his hand on my chest. He then put the knife up to my neck. He told me to get up quietly and if I didn’t then he would kill me and my family.
Tolman: What was the first thing he did to you when he took you to the camp?
Smart: He … (pause) … He took me inside where Wanda was then tried to force me to bathe. After arguing with her, she eventually just proceeded to wash my feet and told me to change out of my pajamas into a robe type of garment. And when I refused she said if I didn’t she would have Brian Mitchell come rip my pajamas off. I put the robe on in which he came and performed a ceremony which was to marry me to him. After that, he proceeded to rape me.
Tolman: In those early days, what did he do to ensure you didn’t escape?
Smart: He had a big bolt with a cable strung between two trees that had a lock with a key. The cable was bolted to my leg, and that was connected to two trees that was connected to both cables.
Tolman: How long was the cable?
Smart: The cable that was on my leg was probably 10 feet long, the one between the two trees was probably 15 to 20 feet long.
Tolman: At any point did you have the key or the ability to take that off?
Tolman: Did he have it on him?