SALT LAKE CITY – Nearly nine years after she was abducted at knifepoint from her bed, Elizabeth Smart watched Wednesday without showing any emotion as a federal judge ordered a street preacher to spend the rest of his life in prison for kidnapping and raping her while holding her captive for months.

The sentencing of Brian David Mitchell closed a major legal chapter in the heartbreaking ordeal that stalled for years after Mitchell was declared mentally ill and unfit to stand trial in state court.

“I know that you know what you did is wrong,” Smart told Mitchell, who sang quietly in the courtroom. “You took away nine months of my life that can never be returned.”

Smart took the witness stand for only about 30 seconds and confronted her abductor in court for the first time since the abduction ended. She was poised and composed, speaking in even tones without showing emotion as she directed her comments at Mitchell.

“I have a wonderful life,” she said. “You will never affect me again.”

Mitchell did not respond when U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball handed down two life sentences at the hearing in Salt Lake City.

Afterward, Smart smiled and hugged family members and her lawyers.

At a news conference after the hearing Smart said that she believes Mitchell knew exactly what he was doing when he abducted and raped her, despite arguments by his lawyers for years that he was mentally incompetent to stand trial.

She says the sentencing, which came on National Missing Children’s Day, marks the end of a long chapter in her life as well as a beautiful new beginning.

She says she wants to help bring other missing children back to their families and see the abductors brought to justice.

The jury unanimously convicted the 57-year-old Mitchell in December of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for sex.

With long hair and beard, Mitchell looked frail and thin in court. He sang throughout the proceedings, even when the judge asked if he wanted to speak.

The prosecution had sought the life sentences. The defense waived its closing remarks.

Smart was 14 when she was taken from the bedroom of her home in Salt Lake City. Wednesday was the first time she faced her kidnapper in court.

Now 23, she testified in excruciating detail about waking up in the early hours of June 5, 2002, to the feel of a cold, jagged knife at her throat and being whisked away by Mitchell to his campsite in the foothills near the family home.

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.

The disappearance and a extensive search to find her riveted the nation, as did her improbable recovery while walking with her captor on a suburban Salt Lake City-area street on March 12, 2003.

Smart was a steady, clear-voiced trial witness who never wavered with emotion, even as she described the horrific events of what she called her “nine months of hell.”

She recalled being forced to live homeless, dress in disguises and stay quiet or lie about her identity if ever approached by strangers or police. Daily, her life and those of her family members were threatened by Mitchell, she has said.

Mitchell was removed from the trial for singing hymns during Smart’s testimony.

Wanda Barzee, Mitchell’s estranged wife and a co-defendant in the case, is already serving a 15-year sentence in a federal prison hospital in Texas for her role in the kidnapping.

Barzee, 65, pleaded guilty to federal kidnapping and unlawful transportation charges in November 2009. Upon her release, Barzee is expected to be transferred to the Utah State Prison to serve a sentence on a conviction in a companion case involving the attempted abduction in 2002 of Smart’s cousin.