The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Author, Still Room for Hope, (2015)

State-certified sexual assault victim advocate

Volunteers at rape crisis center in Los Angeles

Works for a religious organization

Attending college to obtain her degree in psychology

Guest Bio

Once a Victim, Now an Advocate


Alisa was a straight-A student in high school.  She was known as the “nerdy” type but that image changed when her dad got her a new car for her 16th birthday.  Her new friends, including a new boyfriend, were a drinking and pot smoking group.  On July 5th, 2002 she lied to her parents and went to a beach house party at her friend Seth’s house.  Though she had a bad feeling about going to the party before she went, Alisa decided to go by herself.  “It was God telling me that it wasn’t a good idea, but I ignored it unfortunately.”  She says she woke up the next day in her car outside her boyfriend Brian’s house.  Alisa had no recollection of what happened the night before.  Four days later, Alisa was at home when her father received a phone call from the police. They had recovered a videotape shot on the 5th of July.  It appeared Alisa had been gang-raped. 

Immediately the family was caught up in a whirlwind that none of them could control.  Her case became one of the most notorious rape cases in California history. The District Attorney expected Alisa to testify in the trial.  Her friends deserted her; her family was traumatized; the press hounded them.  The first trial in February 2004 ended in a hung jury.  The second in March 2005 found the attackers guilty of 24 felony charges including rape and sexual assault with foreign objects.  They were sent to jail for 6 years but ended up serving 3.  They are registered sex offenders.

Alisa’s started drinking and doing methamphetamines every day after the rape.  “I didn’t have the guts to take a gun and put it to my head or take a bunch of pills,” says Alisa.  “But the pain was so bad I wanted to die so I was using drugs to overdose.  That’s where I was for 3 years.”  One day Alisa’s mom decided to pull the tough love card and disown Alisa.  Her parents kicked her out of the house.  “My parents couldn’t be involved with me and what I was putting my family through,” she says. 


After her parents kicked her out, Alisa started living with her abusive, drug-addict boyfriend.  One day, she was alone in their filthy, roach-infested apartment with no money and no drugs.  Desperate, Alisa got on her knees so she could comb through the carpet for crumbs of drugs to smoke.  She started to weep and cried out to God, “Please help me, God.”  A couple of weeks later, police showed to arrest Russell on an outstanding warrant; Alisa was in the house and clearly under the influence of drugs.  The police went through her purse and found a list of overcrowded drug rehab centers she had been calling for weeks, begging for a bed.  The police officer gave her a second chance.  “That police raid was one of the first moments where I saw a glimmer of hope for my own future,” says Alisa.  “It was a lesson for me that even in the darkest moments of our lives, there is always room for hope.”

At 19, Alisa checked into an in-patient rehab program.  Everyone around her was a Christian and held regular Bible studies where she was exposed to a higher power.  “I got a Bible and started to read it even though I didn’t understand it.  Then over time, it became real to me,” she says.  In 2011, Alisa went to a church retreat with her aunt and truly understood why Jesus died on the cross.  That’s when she asked Jesus into her heart.  She found a home church and got involved in Bible study groups.  Overnight her life started to change.  “God was showing me that I went through that trauma so that I could help others,” says Alisa.  “My question had always been, “Where were you?” He said, “I was there.  I never left your side.” 

Alisa, 29, knew that she had to forgive the men who raped her.  She has forgiven them but can only do so in her heart because the attackers can never be near her due to the permanent restraining order.  She started speaking out about what happened to her and became a state-certified victims advocate.  Currently she volunteers at a rape-crisis center as a counselor and is attending college for her degree in psychology.

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