DENVER – Eight years ago she was a symbol of stolen innocence, snatched from her bedroom at age 14, chained up and raped for nine months before being rescued.

On Friday, Elizabeth Smart, now 23, symbolized something else in a federal courtroom in Salt Lake City — resilience. She watched a jury convict her kidnapper, the culmination of a long legal battle that featured Smart’s calm, methodical testimony about the unspeakable things Brian David Mitchell did to her during her captivity.

“The beginning and end of this story is a woman with extraordinary courage and extraordinary determination,” Acting U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen told reporters after the verdict was read.

Later, Smart spoke to reporters. “I hope that not only is this an example that justice can be served in America, but that it is possible to move on after something terrible has happened,” Smart said.

The abduction of Smart, a member of a devout Mormon family, attracted worldwide attention. The circumstance of her disappearance — she was taken as her parents slept — added to the horror, and her rescue prompted an outpouring of relief and joy.

After five hours of deliberations, the jury found Mitchell, 57, guilty of transporting a minor across state lines for sexual exploitation and interstate kidnapping. He could face life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced May 25.

Mitchell’s attorneys never denied the allegations against him.

“You do not have a good man, here,” Robert Steele, one of his lawyers, told jurors during closing arguments.

But his defense attorneys contended that Mitchell — who said that God ordered him to abduct Smart and rape her — was clinically insane and should not be convicted for his acts.

Prosecutors said Mitchell, who had used an insanity defense to avoid a conviction in state court, was only play-acting.

A gaunt man with an unruly grey beard, Mitchell regularly broke into song during the trial, which led to him being exiled to a cell, where he watched testimony via video.