A Florida woman who was raped and held captive by her estranged husband says she felt a “rush of emotions” when she found out he would be cross-examining her on the witness stand.
“In the very beginning there was a rush of emotions and a bit of shock that this was actually happening and that this was going to be allowed,” Alisa Mathewson told Inside Edition. “I felt sick to my stomach that he was going to do this but I knew he would. He is a textbook narcissist.”
While the couple’s divorce was pending on 2017, Trevor Summers broke into Mathewson’s home, bound her with Christmas lights and raped her over the course of 20 hours.
After trying to smother her with a pillow, Summers put Mathewson’s unconscious body into his car, then drove to a marina, police say, to get rid of her body. When he stopped at a Walgreens in Tampa, Mathewson regained consciousness and made her escape.
“I was able to run and scream through the Walgreens parking lot before he was able to grab me and push me back into the car,” Mathewson said.
Witnesses got a license and notified police. Summers was arrested and Mathewson was saved.
“I believe that he had all the intentions of coming there to murder me and kill himself,” Mathewson said.
Summers later fired his attorneys and was permitted to serve as his own lawyer, which enabled him to question Mathewson during the trial.
“Did I threaten to have sex?” Summers asked his ex-wife on the stand.
“You broke into my home in the middle of the night when I was sleeping, attacked me and tied me up. I take that as, yes, you threatened me to have sex with you. Yes,” Mathewson said.
A jury found Summers guilty of all 11 charges against him, including rape and attempted murder.
Mathewson believes Summers fired his attorney so he would have the ability to confront her one last time.
“He wanted to cross examine me. He wanted to have that moment in which to rattle me or just continue to abuse me,” Mathewson said. She also says that Summers backed down once she gained confidence and strength while answering his questions.
And even after everything she has been through, Mathewson still agrees with the judge’s decision that led to the difficult cross examination.
“I believe in our constitution, and I believe that people can face their accusers. As difficult as it is as a victim to be put in that situation, it is the law,” Mathewson said.
Summers faces up to life in prison at his sentencing next month. The couple has five children together.