Ed Smart said today that he was "incredibly proud" of his daughter Elizabeth Smart after she took the stand Thursday to testify against her alleged abductor, and that he had "no idea of the scope" of the abuse she underwent at the hands of Brian David Mitchell.
"I couldn't believe that anyone would be such an animal," Ed Smart told Diane Sawyer today on "Good Morning America." "I couldn't believe anyone could be so abusive, so self-absorbed and so selfish."
Elizabeth Smart appeared composed and calm on the stand Thursday as she recounted nine months of horror. She testified that she was raped "on a daily basis up to three or four times" by Mitchell, the homeless preacher who allegedly kidnapped Smart when she was 14 and held her captive for nine months.
Smart and wife Lois accompanied their daughter to court, and he visibly winced as his daughter described how she was treated during her captivity.
Elizabeth Smart testified in the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City as part of proceedings to determine Mitchell's mental competency. Mitchell has been repeatedly declared mentally incompetent to stand trial for charges that include kidnapping, sexual assault, burglary and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.
When asked whether Mitchell was competent, Ed Smart said, "I am sure."
Elizabeth Smart was never face to face in court with Mitchell, who was removed from the courtroom with his hands and feet shackled after he refused the judge's orders to stop singing a church hymn.
Smart said his daughter had wanted the chance to see Mitchell in court.
"She wanted to actually see him muzzled there and have to face her and know that this is what you are and this is what you did," he said.
Smart believes Mitchell is attempting to "manipulate the system," calling his behavior "a charade."
Elizabeth Smart, now 21, testified that on the first night she was taken from her home in 2002 she was guided on a 3-mile hike to a canyon behind her home where Mitchell performed an impromptu wedding ceremony.
"He performed a ceremony to marry me to him, and after that he proceeded to rape me," said Elizabeth Smart, clad in a white blouse and black pants.
She never became emotional during her two hours of testimony and remained poised, clenching her fists as she spoke.
"This is the first time that Elizabeth has come forward, and I was incredibly proud of her," Ed Smart said. She was able "to tell the horror of what she went through … share with the judge what kind of a person he was."
Elizabeth Smart testified that Mitchell kept her from escaping by attaching chains around her ankles and tying them to nearby trees. He would wear the key to unlock the chains around his neck, she said.
When Mitchell's wife, Wanda Barzee, became jealous of his relationship with Smart, Mitchell organized a system in which he would rotate between the two women, she testified.
"Wanda would get very upset with him," Smart said on the stand. "She'd say, 'All you do is lust after her.'"
"There wasn't an actual 24-hour period he wasn't able to rape me," she said.
There was at least one time when Smart was able to rebuff Mitchell. During a hike to get water from a stream, Smart said that Mitchell tried to convince her to have sex with him despite it being Wanda's turn.