More than eight years after a homeless street preacher abducted and sexually assaulted her, a beaming Elizabeth Smart said that a federal jury's guilty verdicts Friday sent a message that victims can find justice.
The estranged wife of the man accused of kidnapping then-14-year-old Elizabeth Smart from her family's Salt Lake City home in 2002 testified Friday that the defendant manipulated her into doing things by saying his orders were divine law.
Witnesses recalled Brian David Mitchell as a clean-cut member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the defense case began for the self-described prophet accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart.
They were the words Elizabeth Smart waited eight years to say, and when she spoke them from the witness stand Wednesday, they poured out with an intensity that brought jurors to the edge of their seats.
Shortly after he was arrested in March 2003 and charged with kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in the dark of night, self-styled prophet Brian David Mitchell wrote that God intended for her to be at his side as he battled the Antichrist and restored the true Mormon faith to its rightful place.
Elizabeth Smart has long been silent about the details of an ordeal that began in June 2002 when a stranger crept into her bedroom, held a knife to her throat, marched her up a hillside trail and made her his sex slave.
A federal appeals court halted the trial of a man accused in the 2002 kidnapping of Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart just as it got under way Thursday in order to review the defense's request to move the trial outside the state.
A federal judge has denied a request to move the trial of Brian David Mitchell, who is accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in 2002, but may revisit the issue depending on the results of potential juror questionnaires.
A woman who pleaded guilty to kidnapping Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart in 2002 -- and attempting to kidnap Smart's cousin a month later -- will be sentenced for both offenses in state and federal court Friday.
Three years ago Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her suburban Salt Lake City bedroom and held captive for nine months. Brian Mitchell, a self-described "minister of the Lord," and his wife, Wanda Ilene Barzee, were charged in the girl's disappearance.
In March 2003, missing Salt Lake City, Utah, teenager Elizabeth Smart was found alive after being kidnapped and held captive for nearly nine months. Almost three years after her ordeal, the 17-year-old high school senior's life is getting back to normal, and she works as a quiet activist for missing children.