updated 12/10/2010 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 12/10/2010 AT 5:55 PM ET
Just a few hours after Brian David Mitchell was found guilty of kidnapping her, Elizabeth Smart stood confidently outside the courthouse and praised the verdict.
“It’s a wonderful day,” Smart, wearing a green and black dress and pearls, said outside Salt Lake City’s Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse Friday. “I’m so thrilled to be here, so thrilled with the verdict. Most of all, I stand before the people of America to give hope to other victims who have not spoken out about what has happened to them.”
Mitchell, 57, was convicted of kidnapping Smart when she was 14 and subjecting her to a terrifying nine-month ordeal. He faces possible life in prison for kidnapping for transporting a child across state lines for sexual purposes. He’s due to be sentenced in May 2011.
Prosecutor Diana Hagen credited Smart’s powerful testimony during the trial as a major factor in the jury’s decision, and Smart in turn gave a nod to authorities.