David Cole writes:
In 2010, I covered Mitchell’s trial for the now-defunct Breitbart offshoot YesButHowever.com. One of the most shocking revelations to come out during the trial was that merely two months into her ordeal, Smart was nearly saved by a Good Samaritan in a Salt Lake City library who became suspicious upon seeing a girl in a niqab in the company of an odd-looking bearded man (Mitchell) and an older woman (Barzee). The tipster, who called 911, claimed that the girl’s eyes were remarkably similar to Smart’s (the eyes were the only visible part of the young girl’s covered face). Salt Lake City detective Jon Richey, who arrived to investigate, asked Mitchell if he could look under the girl’s niqab. Mitchell vigorously claimed that to expose the girl’s face to a stranger would violate his religious beliefs. No matter how many times Richey asked to see the girl’s face, Mitchell stood fast, claiming there would be “serious religious consequences” should the girl’s face be exposed to anyone but her husband. Smart, traumatized with fear and with Barzee grasping her tightly, was too petrified to speak up.