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Mitchell, Barzee charged with kidnapping, sexual assault

Arraignment expected on Wednesday

Mitchell, left and Barzee.
Mitchell, left and Barzee.

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SALT LAKE CITY (CNN) -- Prosecutors Tuesday filed four first-degree felony counts against Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Ilene Barzee, in the June 5 abduction of Elizabeth Smart.

The counts include aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault on June 5, and aggravated sexual assault on dates between June 5 and August 2.

Mitchell and Barzee were scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning and a trial is expected this summer, The Associated Press reported.

The two aggravated sexual assault counts state that with the assistance of Barzee, Mitchell raped, attempted to rape, and forcibly sexually abused the teen, or attempted forcible sexual abuse.

The charges also state that Smart was restrained by a cable and was threatened at knife point that harm would come to her or her family if she did not comply with Mitchell's demands.

"She was continually under the threat of death to herself or her family," said Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom.

Prosecutors also filed two felony charges of aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated kidnapping against the pair for allegedly trying to break into the home of Smart's cousin, Jessica Wright, on July 24.

Each of the six counts carries a life sentence. Bail has been set at $10 million for each suspect.

Smart's parents have pledged their cooperation in prosecuting Mitchell and Barzee, Yocom said.

The parents have also asked the media to refrain asking for details of any alleged sexual assaults, he said.

Yocom: Elizabeth Smart
Yocom: Elizabeth Smart " ... was continually under the threat of death to herself or her family."

Elizabeth is said to be cooperating fully with forensic psychiatrists and investigators.

Yocom said that he had been told Mitchell said attorney Larry Long, who has said he is representing Mitchell, is not and never was his attorney, and didn't have the authority to speak for him.

Earlier, Long had told a local television station that Mitchell considered Smart to be his wife and he still has feelings for Elizabeth Smart, 15.

"He wanted me to tell the world that [Elizabeth] is his wife, and he still loves her and knows that she still loves him, that no harm came to her during their relationship and the adventure that went on," attorney Larry Long told KUTV, according to the station's Web site.

Asked about Smart's kidnapping, Mitchell "would object to the terms abduction and kidnapping" and said he considered his actions "a call from God," Long said, according to the Web site.

But Yocom said, "We're not dealing with a religious zealot ... we're dealing with a predatory sex offender" and the charges reflect that.

Mitchell, 49, and Barzee, 57, are scheduled to make their initial court appearance by video at 9 a.m. (11 a.m. ET) Wednesday in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court.


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