Homeless street preacher Brian David Mitchell, the man who kidnapped and raped Elizabeth Smart for nine months was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison.
Speaking on behalf of the family U.S. Attorney for Utah Carlie Christensen said:
“We believe it is an appropriate, just and long overdue result for our community, for the Smart family and of course, most importantly, Elizabeth.”
Smart was kidnapped in 2002 however it wasn’t until December 2010 that a jury found Mitchell guilty.
Speaking to reporters Smart said she is “thrilled” with the sentencing, the longest allowed by law.
“As I said during court, and I’ll say it again now, I absolutely 100% believe that Brian David Mitchell knew exactly what he was doing when he kidnapped me, and all the events that followed. … Today is the ending of a very long chapter, and the beginning of a very beautiful chapter for me.”
During her three days of testimony Smart said:
“I felt that because of what he had done to me, I was marked,” and “I wasn’t the same. My personal value had dropped. I was nothing. Another person could never love me.”
Speaking after the case on Wednesday she said she would dedicate her life to child advocacy “to help stop and prevent future kidnapping crimes, sexual crimes against children, against anyone.”
Smart confronted her kidnapper in court however Mitchell simply rocked back and forth and sang to himself as she spoke. Even if Mitchell wasn’t listening she said to him:
I don’t have much to say to you. I know that you know what you did was wrong … You did it with full knowledge. But I want you to know that I have a wonderful life.