Courtesy of Huffington Post:
Elizabeth Smart, who was raped repeatedly while held captive for nine months when she was 14, made a rare public appearance to tell her story of survival.
Now 24 years old and a commentator for ABC News, Smart told a Salt Lake City audience the harrowing details about the night Brian David Mitchell abducted her at knifepoint from her childhood home in Utah and the subsequent months of torture as his sex prisoner.
“I started talking to him I started begging him to let me go,” Smart told the Salt Lake City Rotary Club on Tuesday, KTVX reports. “He just laughed at me.”
Mitchell — a homeless and fundamentalist preacher — performed a hasty wedding ceremony with Smart, according to ABC News.
“He went straight from marrying me to raping me,” said Smart as she occasionally cried before the audience. “And after that moment I couldn’t feel more worthless and more degraded. It was the worse feeling I could have ever felt.”
To keep her from escaping his dungeon, Mitchell bound Smart with a cable wrapped between her legs. Mitchell often raped her several times a day and forced her to consume alcohol and drugs.
In May, a federal judge gave Mitchell a life sentence. His wife Wanda Barzee is serving 15 years in a federal prison hospital for her role in the kidnapping.
In addition to her periodic work covering missing persons cases for ABC, Smart has a charity called the Elizabeth Smart Foundation. Her speaking engagement on Tuesday was an opportunity to promote the group and RadKIDS, an organization that teaches children and parents about safety, especially when dealing with strangers.
Correction: This story was updated to clarify Mitchell’s religious views