The woman who kidnapped the then 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart apologized on Monday for “the pain and suffering” she caused Smart and her family.
Wanda Barzee begged forgiveness in a hearing in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Tuesday, telling the court she was “humbled as I realize how much Elizabeth Smart has been victimized and the role that I played in it.”
She continued, “I am so sorry, Elizabeth, for all the pain and suffering I have caused you and your family. It is my hope that you will be able to find it in your heart to forgive me.”
Barzee, now 64, admitted helping her then-husband Brian David Mitchell, 55, kidnap Smart at knifepoint from her home in 2002. Barzee then took part in a woodland ceremony where Elizabeth was “married” to Mitchell. During her captivity, Smart was tethered to a tree and was allegedly raped at least once a day over a period of nine months.
Elizabeth’s father, Ed Smart, told the court: “I just hope that Wanda realizes what she did and that it was absolutely wrong and absolutely horrible.”
Mitchell has been declared mentally unfit to stand trial. Barzee was also initially declared unfit, however a judge ruled that doctors could forcibly medicate her.
Following 15 months of treatment with anti-psychotic drugs she was declared competent. She entered guilty pleas to charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor. She could face a life sentence for the kidnapping charge and up to 15 years on the other count.