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Elizabeth Smart, former teenage captive, engaged to be married

Elizabeth Smart, kidnapped at knife point as a 14 year old from her parents' Salt Lake City home and held captive for nine months, is engaged to be married.

Elizabeth Smart sexual assaultEnlarge
Elizabeth Smart (R) and her father Ed Smart walk away from federal court after the sentencing of Elizabeth's kidnapper Brian David Mitchell May 25, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (George Frey/AFP/Getty Images)

Elizabeth Smart, kidnapped at knife point as a 14 year old from her parents' Salt Lake City home and held captive for nine months, is engaged to be married.

A family spokesman announced the engagement on Friday but declined to identify Smart's fiance.

"She has planned to be very public in her child advocacy work but wants to keep the details of her personal life private," spokesman Chris Thomas told the Deseret News, adding that Smart, now 24, was "happy and excited for this next chapter in her life."

Smart’s father, Ed Smart, told the Associated Press that his future son-in-law is a "fine young man" and that he was pleased for his daughter and hoped she had a happy life.

Smart's endured repeated sexual abuse by her captors, Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee.

At Mitchell's trial, she described the ordeal as "nine months of hell," MSNBC reported.

Within hours of the kidnapping, she testified, she was stripped of her favorite red pajamas, draped in white, religious robes and forced into a polygamous marriage with Mitchell. She was tethered to a metal cable strung between two trees and subjected to near-daily rapes while being forced to use alcohol and drugs.

She said Mitchell threatened her life and those of her family members daily, and that she was forced to dress in disguises and stay quiet or lie about her identity if approached by strangers or police.

Mitchell, a onetime itinerant street preacher, according to MSNBC, was convicted in 2010 of Smart's kidnapping and sexual assault. He's serving a life prison sentence.

Barzee is serving a 15-year sentence in a federal prison hospital in Texas for kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor.

Smart was found in March 2003 when a biker, having heard about the kidnapping on "America's Most Wanted," spotted her with Mitchell and Barzee in Sandy, Utah, about 18 miles from her home, according to the Murdoch press.

Smart now works in child advocacy and is a contributor to ABC News.

The family were reportedly hoping to schedule the wedding for this summer.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120120/elizabeth-smart-kidnap-sexual-assault-salt-lake-mitchell