(Photo: Reuters/George Fray)
Brian David Mitchell was sentenced to life imprisonment today for the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart from her Utah bedroom nearly nine years ago and then raping her during nine months of captivity.
Smart bravely attended the sentencing hearing today to confront her kidnapper. However, Mitchell, a former homeless street pastor, initially refused to be in the federal courtroom. He did eventually agree to enter the courtroom though, but shocked the court as he entered singing the hymn “O Come Emmanuel.”
Media sources from across the globe have been anxiously waiting to hear what Smart would have to say to her abductor. She spoke directly to Mitchell saying: “I don't have very much to say to you. I know exactly what you did. I know that you know what you did was wrong. You did it with a full knowledge.”
She added: “I also want you to know that I have a wonderful life now, that no matter what you do will it affect me again.
“You took away nine months of my life that can never be returned, but in this life or next, you will have to be held responsible for those actions, and I hope you are ready for when that time comes.”
Smart's father, Edward Smart, also addressed Mitchell, telling him: “Your perversion and exploitation of religion is not a defense. It is disgusting and it is an abuse that anyone should despise.
“Regardless of what the defense has proposed, you put Elizabeth through nine months of psychological hell.”
He concluded saying: “I hope at some time in your life you find what out you have done is wrong. Whether it's your time on earth or in eternity, you're going to have to face the guilt. ... I hope at some point in your life you're going to be able to repent of it.”
The life sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball.