Elizabeth Smart: I Was Raped Every Day

Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her girlhood bedroom at knifepoint, she said, then led to a secluded mountain campsite, where a self-proclaimed prophet made her his 14-year-old polygamous "wife" in a quickie ceremony.

"After that he proceeded to rape me," Smart, now 21, said, sharing for the first time publicly her account of an ordeal that horrified Americans when she was taken in 2002.

Brian David Mitchell, a one-time street preacher, is accused of holding Smart captive for nine months. He has been behind bars since 2003 - mostly in a state mental hospital - but has yet to stand trial.

At a court proceeding held Thursday over whether Mitchell, 55, is mentally competent to stand trial, Smart provided the horrifying account of her kidnapping.

She testified that her captor raped her three or four times a day and threatened to kill her if she yelled or tried to escape. She was on the stand for nearly two hours, and her voice never wavered.

Asked by a prosecutor to describe Mitchell, Smart replied: "Evil, wicked, manipulative, stinky, slimy, greedy, selfish, not spiritual, not religious, not close to God."

Smart's parents and other family members were in the courtroom to support her.

Outside the courthouse, her father, Ed Smart, said he "was absolutely amazed at her strength. I don't know how she could have done a better job than she did. ... If this doesn't clinch the issue of (Mitchell's) competence, our nation is in really, really bad shape."

His eyes tearing and his voice choked with emotion, he told reporters, "There were certainly a lot of things I had never heard before (in his daughter's testimony). And I had no idea she had gone through so much out there."

On "The Early Show" Friday, Ed Smart told co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez he "just had no idea of the extent of the abuse and manipulation that she lived through for those nine months. When I heard the entire story and his manipulation of her, I feel like he is absolutely manipulating our courts to death, and that, if he isn't found competent, it will be an incredible travesty and our system is truly broken."

He added, "A couple weeks ago, she said, 'Dad, you know, this is the last thing on earth that I want to talk about.' And (Thursday), I was completely amazed at how she was able to move forward."

Smart was rescued in March 2003 after a motorist spotted her walking the streets of a Salt Lake City suburb with Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Eileen Barzee.

Mitchell has been ruled mentally incompetent in state court twice, and has often demonstrated bizarre behavior, including incessantly singing hymns in the courtroom and once yelling at a judge to repent.

A federal judge ruled earlier this week that Smart's testimony is relevant to the question of Mitchell's competence. Mitchell's competence hearing is not set to begin until Nov. 30, but Smart testified early because she is going on a religious mission for the Mormon church in Paris.

In the days immediately following the 2002 kidnapping, Mitchell held Smart captive with the help of a 10-foot cable tethered to a line between two trees and bolted to her leg, she said.

"He told me he was a prophet," Smart said under cross-examination by Mitchell's lawyer. "He said he was the voice of God on Earth and that he would reign over God's children until Jesus came."

But she also said his religious revelations seemed to come only when he wanted something, or when he was trying to calm his wife. Smart said she believed Mitchell always knew that he could be punished for her kidnapping and understood how the court system worked.

She said he gave her an alias - Augustine Marshall - and told her what to say to police if they were ever questioned. He also bragged about skirting previous accusations of sexual abuse and fooling others, Smart said.

Never in nine months did Mitchell appear confused or out of control, Smart testified: "He was a very capable, intelligent human being."

Smart had wanted to face her alleged tormentor Thursday, Ed Smart told reporters, but Mitchell was removed from the courtroom for disruptive behavior before Smart arrived. He watched the proceedings from a holding cell.

"She actually wanted to face him," Ed Smart said. "She asked if he could be muzzled and sit and watch."

Smart said Mitchell showed her pornography and plied her with alcohol and drugs to lower her resistance to his sexual advances. Once, Smart said, she tried to fight Mitchell off by biting him. Smart said there was some respite - usually when Barzee became upset over Mitchell's relationship with Smart - but it never lasted.

Mitchell is charged in state court with kidnapping and sexual assault. Last year, he was indicted on federal charges of kidnapping and transporting a minor across state lines. In both the state and federal cases, experts have split over Mitchell's competence.

Mitchell's lawyers maintain he is incompetent and suggested that evidence of his delusions can be found in his religious rambling and writings, including a 27-page manifesto he called "The Book of Emmanuel David Isaiah."

Smart said he read from the book repeatedly during her captivity, often sang hymns and laced his conversations with religious language. Throughout her captivity, Smart was forced to wear a white, ankle-length robe, a head scarf and two veils across her face.



On "The Early Show", Ed Smart also urged parents to avail themselves of the child abduction prevention resources available at Web sites such as SPCoalition.org, NotOneMoreChild.org and RadKids.org. He also pointed to a previous "Early Show" segment on RadKids.
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