Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) October 09, 2009 -- At 21 years of age, Elizabeth Smart, is preparing to face her abductors in a third federal competency hearing.
Seven years ago, in 2002, Smart, was dragged from her bedroom in Federal Heights, at knife point. Her sister Mary Katherine, aged 9, pretended to be asleep, being too afraid to move, as the abduction took place. Later she was able to give a description of the abductor, Mitchell.
Smart was held as hostage as a second wife, for a nine month period, by self-proclaimed Mormon prophet and street preacher, Brian David Mitchell and his wife and Wanda Barzee.
Smart was attached to two trees, by a cable, bolted to her leg, so as to prevent her from escaping, just 3 Â½ miles from her home. Smart testified in court that Mitchell was obsessed with sex and that he raped her three to four times a day throughout her captivity. Mitchell forced her to take drugs and alcohol to lower her resistance to his sexual advances.
Eventually the couple moved to San Deigo before returning to Utah, keeping Smart with them.
Smart was finally recognized and set free, when walking along the street of a Salt Lake City suburb in June 2003. Mitchell and Barzee were accused with kidnapping and sexual assault.
The prosecution has been steeped in a long and hard controversy, as Mitchell and Barzee were ruled mentally incompetent by State courts. They were confined indefinitely, in a Utah psychiatric State Hospital.
Mitchell disrupted earlier court hearings with loud and persistent singing of hymns. He may be required to participate in the current hearing via a video link.
Ed Smart considers his daughter will help show that Mitchell is absolutely competent to stand trial and that "Mitchell puts on a good show for everyone in court. Elizabeth will be able to paint a true picture of Brian Mitchell. The manipulation, the coercion and what he is absolutely like".
"Life continues", reveal an apparently well adjusted Elizabeth, during an interview on the Oprah Winfrey show. Elizabeth from her experience believes Mitchell and Barzee are mentally competent and should bear the consequences of their actions.âMitchell had an excuse for everything he did with a religious side to it".
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