SALT LAKE CITY -- Nearly nine years after she was abducted at knifepoint from her bed, Elizabeth Smart showed no emotion yesterday as a federal judge ordered a street preacher to spend the rest of his life in prison for kidnapping and raping her while holding her captive for months.
The sentencing of Brian David Mitchell, 57, closed a major legal chapter in the ordeal that had stalled for years after he was declared mentally ill and unfit to stand trial in state court.
"I know that you know what you did is wrong," Smart, now 23, told Mitchell, who sang quietly in the courtroom. "You took away nine months of my life that can never be returned."
Smart took the stand for only about 30 seconds and confronted her kidnapper in court for the first time since the abduction ended. She appeared poised and composed, as she directed her comments at Mitchell. "I have a wonderful life," she said. "You will never affect me again."
Mitchell didn't respond when U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball handed down two life sentences.
A jury convicted Mitchell in December of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for sex.