Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart to be released

Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart to be released

Smart, who was 14 years old when she was abducted and held captive as a sex slave by Barzee and her husband, Brian David Mitchell, was asked about Barzee's release Wednesday night.

When Barzee was sentenced 15 years ago, she had to write a letter of apology to Smart. "I am very concerned for the community, for the public, as much as I am for myself", Smart, now 30, said in an interview with "CBS This Morning" that aired on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"I do believe that he will do the job to the best of his ability".

Smart and her father called the situation "a reminder of the checks and balances the criminal justice system needs", according to the AP.

Elizabeth Smart at a news conference while her father Ed Smart looks on September 13, 2018.

He said Barzee can not contact the Smart family or Mitchell.

Utah State prison spokeswoman Kaitlin Felsted said in a statement that Wanda Barzee was released Wednesday following a surprise announcement last week that authorities had miscalculated the amount of time she should serve. She testified in 2010 against Mitchell and was given a plea deal on state and federal charges.

"And it was evil", Smart said.

The 15-year federal prison sentence was handed down in exchange for Barzee's cooperation in state and federal cases against Mitchell, CNN reported.

Many students say they were impressed that she could be here knowing one of the people who hurt her is now free. "I don't feel like she has taken any responsibility for her actions, so that's disappointing, but there's nothing we can do about it", he said. "And I just knew that she - she wasn't there to help me, that she wasn't there to protect me".

She did it all while describing in detail the most horrific time of her life, her kidnapping.

She wrote a book detailing her kidnapping, which is called "My Story", and although she lives a private life these days, the Salt Lake Tribune said she is married and now expecting her third child, according to published reports.

After years of court battles over her competency, Barzee pleaded guilty in federal court in 2009 to kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor. A passerby spotted her nine months later when she was walking down the street with her two captors, a homeless street preacher and his wife, and called police.

Since Barzee's release was announced, Smart has voiced concern that her captor has not been rehabilitated and is still risky. She uses her experiences to help others, especially through the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which aims to stop the victimization of children and offer hope to survivors.

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