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Elizabeth Smart: Kidnapping accomplice's apology fell short

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    Elizabeth Smart arrives for a news conference Thursday in Salt Lake City. Smart says it appears there is no viable, legal recourse she can take to stop the release of one of her kidnappers. Smart said that she only found out about 72-year-old Wanda Barzee's release shortly before the public did.



SALT LAKE CITY — Elizabeth Smart says the woman who helped kidnap her when she was 14 and stood by as she was sexually assaulted fell short on her court-ordered apology.

Part of Wanda Barzee's plea deal was a requirement that she write an apology, Smart said in an interview aired Wednesday on “CBS This Morning.”

“It was just a very brief, ‘I'm sorry for what I've done, the end’ kind of thing,” Smart said. “I don't think you can just kidnap a 14-year-old girl and, you know, not only sit by her while she's being raped, but encourage the rapist to continue. ... Then just at the end of it say, ‘I'm sorry,’ and really mean it.”

Barzee is expected to be freed Wednesday after 15 years in custody because Utah authorities had miscalculated the amount of time the 72-year-old woman should serve.

In the interview, Smart also stressed that victims like herself shouldn't be blamed, tempting though it may be.

In someone else's shoes, she said, “I might naively have thought, ‘Well, what was she wearing? What was she doing?’” Smart said. “'I mean, it's a terrible thing that happened, but why didn't she do more?’”

She continued, “I will never be that person to ask those stupid questions. Because what you're really saying is, ‘You should have done more.’”

Barzee was married to Brian David Mitchell when he kidnapped Smart in 2002. He is serving a life sentence.

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