Elizabeth Smart Recounts Daily Sexual Abuse

She testifies that captor uses religious rants to get his way
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2009 2:42 PM CDT
Elizabeth Smart leaves federal court after testifying at a competency hearing for her alleged kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, Oct. 1, 2009, in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Colin Braley)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Elizabeth Smart delivered frank testimony in federal court today on the abuse she suffered at the hands of Brian David Mitchell during a 9-month abduction, describing how Mitchell used religion to justify repeatedly raping her. Smart, 14 at the time, said Mitchell chained her leg to a tree at the campsite where she was held and raped her daily. When she resisted his advances, he would tell her: “The Lord says you have to do this, you have to experience the lowest form of humanity to experience the highest.”

Smart, now 21, testified in a trial to determine whether Mitchell is mentally fit to face federal kidnapping charges. Though Mitchell sang Mormon hymns constantly in court, Smart testified that he could turn off his religious ranting if it would get him what he wanted. Asked by prosecutors to describe Mitchell, Smart said, "evil, wicked, manipulative, sneaky, slimy, selfish, greedy."