Elizabeth Smart describes 'nine months of hell' in captivity with Brian David Mitchell
Editor's note: While Deseret News reporters and editors have filtered much of the graphic detail from Tuesday's testimony, some readers may still find some of the following content objectionable.
SALT LAKE CITY — Separated at last from the man who had held her captive, continuously raped her and threatened to kill her for the past nine months, Elizabeth Smart still did not have the courage to tell the police officers that had just handcuffed her and put her into the back of a patrol car who she really was.
"I was very scared. I knew the threats that I had been told for nine months. I knew what they were and I was scared. I didn't know why I was being handcuffed. I thought maybe I had done something wrong, that I was guilty. And at the same time I thought, 'This is it, this is it. I'm done. This is it. Like, this is over,' " Smart testified Tuesday.
Smart took the witness stand for a second day and continued to describe for the jury her time in captivity at the hands of Brian David Mitchell with frank, and frequently disturbing details.
Speaking in a softer voice than usual, the most emotional part of the day for Smart seemed to come at the very end of her testimony when she described how she felt when she was taken to the Sandy Police Department and removed the wig and sunglasses Mitchell forced her to wear, bringing her "nine months of hell" to an end.
"I was so happy," Smart said.
The emotional testimony brought at least one juror to tears Tuesday. She was seen wiping her eyes as she walked out of the courtroom for the day.
Smart was expected to take the witness stand again Wednesday to finish her testimony and be cross-examined by the defense.
On Tuesday, Smart and prosecutors again portrayed Mitchell as a man driven by his sexual desires — particularly toward underage girls — who used religion as a way to manipulate others, who drank heavily, and who was keenly aware that people were searching for Smart and took many steps to keep her hidden from public view.
During her testimony, Smart was again asked to recount difficult moments of her abduction, talking about the numerous — almost daily — times she was raped, how she was forced to drink alcohol, smoke marijuana and view pornography. Smart even admitted at one point while in California that she was so down, she purposely got drunk without much prodding from Mitchell.
"I was so sick of being sober in life," she testified.
Smart only referred to Mitchell as "the defendant," when testifying, as she did Monday, not once mentioning him by his name.
While still hiding at the campsite in the foothills above her Federal Heights home, Mitchell would travel down to Salt Lake City three to five times a week, mainly to buy alcohol. The self-proclaimed prophet would then return to camp, get drunk and use vulgar language, Smart said.
"He would especially use (vulgar language) while he was drinking or before he would rape me," she said.
He told her she needed to drink, smoke and view pornography in order to "sink below all things so we could rise above all things," Smart said.
When Mitchell explained the role the abducted Smart was to play, he told her, "I needed to continue to be there and available for him when he needed me, wanted me, and have me there for his sexual needs and desires," she said.
Smart was also expected to "demonstrate" how to have sex in front of any future wife Mitchell planned to abduct.
Throughout her testimony, Smart recounted many stories of sexual abuse to the point that by the end of the day, she stared off blankly while recounting another incident of abuse and appeared as though she had had enough for the day.
- After more than 6 years, 3 families yearn for...
- Strong winds cause damage, possibly fatal...
- Former BYU, non-Mormon professor writes 'in...
- Millcreek man faces child abuse homicide...
- Sen. Orrin Hatch headed to Israel to meet...
- Scam targets families of LDS missionaries
- About Utah: Want a ride to the past? Matt...
- New strategies eliminate long waitlist for...
- Poll: 66 percent of Utahns support... 51
- GOP primary in governor's race now... 24
- Award recipient's affiliation draws ire... 14
- Scam targets families of LDS missionaries 13
- Provo transit project set to begin,... 13
- Chaffetz attorney calls FEC complaint... 12
- Former BYU, non-Mormon professor writes... 11
- After more than 6 years, 3 families... 11