- (Photo: Reuters/Michael Brandy)
Incoming Congressman Chris Stewart (R-Utah) will have more on his plate than just learning the ins and outs of Washington, D.C. The 52-year-old politician will also be writing the story of Elizabeth Smart, the young 14-year-old Utah girl who was kidnapped ten years ago and held captive for nine months by Brian David Mitchell.
Smart, the daughter of a wealthy Utah businessman, was abducted from her Salt Lake City bedroom in June 2002 when she was 14. After enduring a tumultuous nine-month ordeal where Mitchell repeatedly sexually assaulted her with the assistance of his common-law wife Wanda Barzee, Smart was rescued when she was approached by a law enforcement officer.
The case generated a tremendous amount of media coverage after Smart's sister, Mary Katherine, witnessed the abduction of her sister while pretending to be asleep
Smart has spent the past several years focusing on her work as an advocate for children and victims who like herself, have endured traumatic experiences.
"She has taken a professional outlook on this and is able to talk in an impressive way about these things frankly," Stewart told The Associated Press. "She's not shying away from this story."
The young Utah woman was waiting for her captors to be sentenced before completing the book. Mitchell was sentenced in March 2011 to life in prison while Barzee received a 15-year sentence for her role in the crimes.
St. Martin's Press has obtained the rights to the memoir and the book is slated for release on Sept. 13, 2013, according to The New York Times.
Stewart, who won a seat to Congress in the November election, was an Air Force pilot for 14 years. He cruised to an easy victory over his Democratic opponent during the election, winning about 60 percent of the vote to represent the state's 2nd Congressional district.
He retired from the Air Force to start a consulting firm while beginning a career as an author. His has written a number of religious book including The Great and the Terrible series. His last work, The Miracle of Freedom: Seven Tipping Points that Saved the World, made the New York Times' bestseller list.
Smart, 25, is now married to Mormon missionary Matthew Gilmour and attends Brigham Young University. The foundation she founded is dedicated to supporting law enforcement efforts by raising awareness about predatory crimes.