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‘You Raped Me!’: Woman Confronts Ex-Husband After He Suddenly Gets to Cross-Examine Her at Kidnapping Trial



A man on trial for allegedly kidnapping his ex-wife and holding her captive for two days is now representing himself again. Trevor Steven Summers, 45, began cross-examining former spouse Alisa Mathewson on Wednesday.

Regarding a sexual assault allegation against him, Summers asked if he threatened her to have “sex” with him.

“You broke into my home in the middle of the night when I was sleeping, attacked me, and tied me up!” she said. “I take that as yes, you threatened me to have sex with you! Yes!”

She maintained he forced her to have “sex” with him. She acknowledged Summers did not push her or hold her down at the time of the alleged sexual assault, but she said: “Prior to having sex, you did push me, you did hold me down, you did tie me up, you did attack me, and you did break into my home when I was sleeping! You raped me!”

The defendant made the request to go pro se (represent himself) to Judge Christopher C. Sabella during a morning break after Matthewson finished direct examination. The judge warned at length that he did not consider this a “wise” decision.


In making the defendant aware of the potential ramifications, Judge Sabella also detailed Summers’ lengthy court history. The defendant fired a series of attorneys in this case that stretched back to 2017. Summers hired and fired private counsel, was represented by the public defender’s office, and decided some time before trial to represent himself. He asked, however, at the figurative last-minute on Monday before jury selection for court-appointed lawyer Anthony Marchese to pick up the case again, though Marchese acknowledged to the court they had disagreements on strategy.

Now Summers wants to go pro se again before the jury in Hillsborough County, Florida. Sabella ultimately conceded to the request, with Marchese successfully arguing to stay on as stand-by counsel. This paved the way for the defendant to cross-examine Mathewson. The judge, however, said Summers could not approach her.

This followed the end of Mathewson’s harrowing testimony under direct examination. From Tuesday through Wednesday morning, she said Summers snuck into her home and ambushed her in her sleep on the early morning of March 11, 2017. The former couple, who shared five children together, were married but estranged and divorcing, and they lived in different homes. Two of her younger children were in bed with her while their 14-year-old daughter was on the couch.

From the moment Summers pulled her off the bed by her feet, he subjected her to two days of violent behavior, including sexual assault and physical abuse, she testified. This allegedly included hogtying her and driving her through several counties. Despite being tied up, she briefly managed to escape when he parked at a Walgreens and went inside the store, but he went back out, forced her back into the vehicle and fled, Mathewson said. Randall Crobsy testified to witnessing this as a Walgreens employee and said he called 911.

Mathewson told the court Summers sliced one of her wrists’ as retaliation for the Walgreens escape.

Alisa Mathewson's slit but healing left wrist.

Alisa Mathewson testified that ex-husband Trevor Summers cut her wrist as retaliation for briefly escaping at a Walgreens parking lot.

According to Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Johnson, Summers had them lie low, hiding from law enforcement at a field in Manatee County, Florida, through March 12, but they had to leave the following day when they ran out of food and water. Ultimately, Summers — who had voiced plans to take Mathewson with him on a charter boat — brought her to a supposed safe house, Mathewson testified.

When Summers made his request Wednesday morning to represent himself again, it was a mere hour after Mathewson testified about the final moments of her alleged captivity. She said Summers pointed out what he claimed to be an unmarked police car, but she did not believe him.

Then he took a razor blade to his throat, she said. It was the same razor blade he had used to slice her wrist, she testified.

“And he began slitting his throat and saying, ‘This is what love is. I’m laying my life down for you. You don’t deserve this,'” she said.


Mathewson said she screamed, describing a bloody, traumatic experience. Mathewson testified to pleading with the defendant to stop. Asked by the prosecutor, she denied ever telling Summers to die by suicide.

Trevor Steven Summers

Trevor Steven Summers, appearing in a Hillsborough County mugshot with an apparent slash at his neck.

Mathewson testified to Summers reaching forward at her with the razor blade and telling her he was going to cut those ropes off of her. She said the rope was just looped, not tied, to her injured arm, so she managed to get her arms out, put her hands out, and told the defendant he did not have to cut the ropes off.

“And at this point, law enforcement surrounded the vehicle,” she said. “My door opened. I was grabbed and taken out.”

Alisa Mathewson testified to being saved at this side of the vehicle.

Alisa Mathewson testified to being saved at this side of the vehicle.

When she got treatment for the slit wrist, the wound was open for too long and medical providers could not stitch it, she testified. It was not something they could reopen to stitch her, Mathewson said.

Charges against Summers include two counts of attempted first-degree murder, for allegedly smothering Mathewson with a pillow until she fell unconscious and later strangling her with a rope.

Before trial, Mathewson voiced some fear at having to face Summers in cross-examination.

“As a victim, it’s a little scary, it’s a little intimidating,” she told Fox 13 News earlier this year. “I have a lifetime protective order against him, and he’s going to be right in front of me, questioning me about the crimes he committed against me.”

When it came time for cross, she appeared to pointedly turned away from Summers, even when he was not showing her evidentiary pictures.

Trever Steven Summers and Alisa Mathewson

Trever Steven Summers and Alisa Mathewson. Mathewson pointedly refused to look at face him throughout much, if not all of the cross-examination.

He questioned Mathewson on the state of her home and other details. She had testified that she remembered the colors of the scarves he used to tie her up, but he questioned her on how she could tell if it was so dark in the residence.

“I know that they are those colors because you used them to tie me up after the struggle, so I know what colors they were,” she said.

Summers asked her extensive questions about the state of her home and the items in it, showing her pictures of her bedroom, her bathroom, the master closet and a computer station.

Asked when he arrived at her home, Mathewson said she was asleep.

Asked what window he used to get in, she said she was asleep.

Johnson sometimes objected to his questions on grounds of relevance. For example, Summers asked how the swing set in the backyard “got there” or if the kids used it.

Summers asked Mathewson about the injuries she said she sustained during the initial period of her captivity. Citing her testimony, he said the living room was very dark.

“You thought we were fighting, wrestling, that kind of stuff for most of that time?” he said.

“Yes,” she said.

“And is that where you sustained some of the bruises?” he said.

“Yes,” she said.

“Some of the scratches?”

“Yes,” she said.

He also turned the questioning toward certain details of their sexual history, though Johnson successfully objected on relevance. Summers adjusted his approach, asking Mathewson if they ever used scarves during their sexual activity.

“I don’t recall a single instance,” she said. “I don’t recall any.”

Johnson said during opening statements that Summers convinced his older daughter to take the younger children to his home. The defendant and Mathewson spent hours alone at their residence. Mathewson testified that he tied her up after their daughter left.

“What did we talk about for five hours?” he asked.

“I didn’t do much talking,” she said. “You can go on and on and on about random nonsense. It’s incoherent nonsense, but you can just go on about it.”

Summers did not get to deliver an opening statement because Marchese had already done it. The attorney on Tuesday told jurors to match the facts of the case against the charges.

“The story that Ms. Johnson gave you is a story,” Marchese said. “It is the state’s theory of what happened. A lot of it is true. A lot of it is also verified by Mr. Summers when he makes a statement. But we also have to follow the law. Look at the charges against him and see if the facts that you hear from that witness stand match up with the law, as you’re going to get instructed from the court.”

Summers’ daughter, who was 14 at the time of the incident, is expected to testify against him. She has said he tricked her into leaving a window open at her mother’s home.

“This was a man I trusted,” daughter Arden Summers has previously said, according to Fox 13 news. “This is a man who I thought could do no wrong and just to know that he used me to do what he wanted to do hurts more than anything.”

[Screenshots via Law&Crime Network]

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