When Elizabeth Smart stepped down from the stand, ending three days of excruciatingly personal testimony Wednesday, she had painted her accused kidnapper as a brutally cruel, religious zealot obsessed with sex.
Speaking in a controlled voice, her words tinged with anger, Smart called Brian David Mitchell selfish and a "hypocrite" who raped her at every chance he got even while proclaiming himself to be God's servant.
"I'm always impressed by her grace, her dignity, but most of all her courage," John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" told "Good Morning America" today. "She's been waiting to get on that witness stand for years."
The now 23-year-old woman told the jury that Mitchell talked to her during her nine months in captivity about what would happen if they were captured.
"He knew he would go to prison. But then he also said that I ... and the other wives ... would come and testify in his behalf," Smart testified. "And he said that he would be released and he would be killed and lie dead in the street for three days and then he would be resurrected and he would go on to fight the Anti-Christ."
She also spoke of being forced to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana, which disgusted her.
Smart was 14 when she was kidnapped from her bed in Utah. She has said she was forced to "marry" Mitchell in an impromptu ceremony shortly after the kidnapping and that he would often beg her for sex, angering accomplice Wanda Barzee, who was jealous of the attention Mitchell gave Smart.
Already paranoid, Smart said, Mitchell was greatly disturbed by a newspaper article -- the only one she was ever allowed to see during her time in captivity -- that featured a picture of Walsh and a report that "America's Most Wanted" was looking for her.
Walsh said Mitchell's reaction was why he has worked so hard to pursue criminals and protect children.
He called Mitchell a "low-life creep" and said Smart's testimony proved she's not a victim, but a survivor.
During her three days on the stand, Smart was poised and unruffled as she detailed her nightmarish nine months with Mitchell and Barzee. She said that at one point she was confronted by a police officer looking for Elizabeth Smart and he wanted to look under the veil Mitchell made her wear. She was so afraid of Mitchell's death threats that she didn't speak up and was heartsick that the officer wasn't more persistent.
That officer, Det. Ron Richey, has said he was devastated to learn later that he had been looking right at Smart and didn't do more to help her.
When she was finally rescued, she initially denied her identity out of fear that Mitchell would make good on his death threats.
Barzee pleaded guilty to federal kidnapping charges last year and was later sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Elizabeth Smart Contributed to Her Rescue
On the stand Wednesday, Smart told the court that her kidnapper had grandiose religious illusions, referring to himself as the "Davidic King" or the "one mighty and strong," but many of the prayers he said out loud were for God to make Smart "perform her wifely duties."
In a gentle 15 minute cross examination, Mitchell's lawyer appeared to be trying to depict his client as severely mentally ill, whose extreme religious views and abusive practices indicate the depths of his insanity.
Smart said Mitchell held bizarre religious views, melding traditional Mormon philosophy with new ageism and his own doctrine that included a book he wrote, "The Book of Immanuel David Isaiah," which he made Smart read.
She said Mitchell forced her to pray for lengthy periods and said Mitchell would pray out loud for Smart to have sex with him.
"The things that he would say in his prayers were things that I would never have said," she said. "He would say, 'Please bless me,' [Smart], that I would be able to cope with my wifely duties and be able to rise to the occasion and fulfill my wifely duties. That is about the farthest thing from my prayers."
Mitchell also had his confessed accomplice Wanda Barzee make up a book of hymns and would make Smart sing whatever songs he chose.
She testified that Mitchell declared that he was the one destined to fight the anti-Christ because he was the "one mighty and strong" and the "Davidic King."
"Nine months of living with him and seeing him proclaim that he was God's servant and called to do God's work and everything he did to me ... is something that I know that God would not tell somebody to do," she said. "God would never tell someone to kidnap her at knifepoint from their bed, from her sister's side ... never continue to rape her and sexually abuse her."
Lawyer Robert Steele also had Smart describe Mitchell's belief in a healing process he called lymphology which involved touching places that hurt and "bouncing," which was jumping up and down. She said he was a restless sleeper who frequently got up during the night to bounce for several minutes, sometimes on one leg, before going back to bed.
In addition, Steele asked Smart if she ever saw Mitchell lose consciousness.
"Yes. We were in California at the time. He was in the middle of raping me and he experienced a seizure," she said calmly.
Mitchell, 57, is charged with kidnapping and transporting a minor across state lines for sexual purposes. He was captured in March 2003. Barzee has already confessed and has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
She did, however, make an effort to get help when she was allowed to go to a bathroom in a Hard Rock Cafe and tried to scratch "Help" on the bathroom wall.
She also contributed to her rescue after Mitchell took them to California. She told Mitchell that God wanted them to return to Salt Lake City. She suggested he pray on it, and said he could probably kidnap another wife from a Mormon camp for girls in the area.
Mitchell supposedly prayed about her suggestion and decided to return to Salt Lake City where Smart was eventually discovered and rescued.