Elizabeth Smart describes rapes, sex abuse, imprisonment, threats

She went from feeling worthless to being determined to survive

Published: Monday, Nov. 8 2010 7:00 a.m. MST

Courtroom drawing of Elizabeth Smart on the stand.

Scott Snow

EDITORS NOTE: The following contains line-by-line detail of the prosecution testimony. We warn readers that some details described in the testimony are graphic in nature and some people might find them objectionable.

SALT LAKE CITY — An attorney for Brian David Mitchell said the defense has "virtually no disagreement as to what happened" with Elizabeth Smart, but said the defense has a "general disagreement about why it happened."

The trial for Mitchell, accused of kidnapping Smart, resumed Monday after being put on hold for nearly a day and a half while an appeal for a change of venue was considered.

Defense attorney Parker Douglas asked jurors to "ferret out carefully not only what happened but why it happened."

Elizabeth Smart spent two and a half hours on the witness stand Monday describing in great detail the events of her first weeks in captivity. She talked about being kidnapped from her bedroom — "the place I thought was the safest place in the world" — to being tethered to a chain "like an animal," raped repeatedly, forced to drink alcohol and obey Mitchell's threats and commands.

She said she went from feeling worthless after the kidnapping to realizing she could survive and would do all in her power to protect her and her family.

Smart's mother, Lois Smart, and her sister, Mary Katherine Smart, also testified in court for the first time Monday.

The following is an unofficial transcript of much of her testimony and that of her sister.

Elizabeth Smart testimony:

Prosecutor Felice Viti: Miss (Elizabeth) Smart, prior to going to bed (on June 4, 2002), did you and your Dad do anything?

Elizabeth: We closed all the windows and all the doors.

Prosecutor: Did you close all the windows and doors?

Elizabeth: No, there is a window above the kitchen sink that we didn't close, because the smell of burnt food was still lingering in the air.

P: Did not close the rectangular window that was on the right side of the bigger square window?

Elizabeth: There is a hand crank that you can crank it open with.

P: On June 4, 2002, did you home have an alarm system?

Elizabeth: Yes it did.

P: Was the window you described part of that alarm system?

Elizabeth: No, not that I know of.

P: Are there any doors in the vicinity of the kitchen?

Elizabeth: Yes there is a door even further to the right, next to set of cupboards next to the refrigerator.

P: What is government exhibit 14 a picture of? Was the kitchen door on June 4, 2002, wired or set up for alarm?

Elizabeth: Yes it was.

P: Was there anything unusual about that particular door that evening that you recall?

Elizabeth: I remember that when it opened, it didn't beep and all the doors in our house beep when you open them up.

P: Did you know why it didn't beep?

Elizabeth: I believe it was because the magnet that makes it beep had fallen out and become disconnected or something. At the end of every day, all my siblings and parents gathered together and one of us says prayers and one of us thanks our Heavenly Father for things we'd been blessed with and asks him for things that we need. I shared a bedroom with my younger sister. She slept right next to me.

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