Elizabeth Smart Recounts 9 Months of 'Hell'

First time she has spoken publicly about ordeal details

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 15, 2011 4:22 AM CST

(Newser) – Kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart "couldn't feel more worthless and degraded" than the day she was raped by her captor, she revealed. "It was the worst feeling I could ever have felt," the now 24-year-old university student recounted yesterday. Smart, who was abducted from her Utah bedroom at knifepoint at the age of 14, was then tethered to a metal cable strung between trees and raped multiple times a day for nine months by deranged, menacing drifter Brian David Mitchell, who is now serving a life sentence. It was the first time Smart has talked publicly about the details of her captivity, and she cried as she spoke at a Salt Lake City fundraising event for her charity the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which educates children on how to protect themselves from danger.

"I kept begging him to let me go—and he wouldn't listen to me," reports the Daily Mail. "All I could do was scream 'No!' He said, ' If you ever scream like that again, I will kill you."' He 'went straight from marrying me'—in a made-up ritual of his own—" to raping me," she said. Each day of her "nine months of hell," Mitchell threatened her life and the lives of family members.

Brian David Mitchell enteris federal court in Salt Lake City earlier this year.
Brian David Mitchell enteris federal court in Salt Lake City earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Colin E Braley, File)
Elizabeth Smart listens to her father Ed Smart talk to the press outside of federal court after the sentencing of Elizabeth's kidnapper Brian David Mitchell.
Elizabeth Smart listens to her father Ed Smart talk to the press outside of federal court after the sentencing of Elizabeth's kidnapper Brian David Mitchell.   (Getty Images)
Elizabeth Smart talks to the media in front of the Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse, after her kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, was sentenced to life in prison.
Elizabeth Smart talks to the media in front of the Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse, after her kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, was sentenced to life in prison.   (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart)
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