An Oregon man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman in July appeared on a 2018 episode of “Judge Judy” titled “Baby in Danger.”
Negasi Zuberi, a 29-year-old married father, was arrested in July after a woman escaped from a makeshift cinder block cell in his Klamath Falls home, where she told authorities Zuberi held her hostage and sexually assaulted her.
Five years ago, Zuberi walked away from “Judge Judy” with $2,500 after he sued Alycia Westfall, the mother of his children, for damaging his clothing with bleach and throwing a glass bottle at him during a fight.
In the 2018 episode, Zuberi uses one of his many aliases, Justin Hyche. His other aliases include “Sakima” and “Justi Kouassi,” according to the FBI. Zuberi used the name Justin Kouassi in a Contra Costa County, California, case involving Westfall, who requested a retraining order against Zuberi, aka Kouassi.
Zuberi presented video evidence of Westfall allegedly throwing a bottle and yelling at him in the recently resurfaced “Judge Judy” episode. He also told Judge Judith Sheindlin in the episode that Westfall had him arrested for domestic violence after the incident.
“You’re not suing for being arrested. That’s unfortunate,” Sheindlin told Zuberi at the conclusion of the episode. “Although, you’re suing for the court maximum. I would’ve awarded you for false arrest, ‘cause I don’t think there was any basis for you to be arrested other than the police in New York sometimes are scared not to make an arrest if there’s a call for domestic violence.
‘Your counterclaim is dismissed,” Sheindlin told Westfall. “You destroyed his suits and his computer.”
Now, Zuberi is charged with kidnapping and transportation with intent to engage in sexual activity. The alleged victim, who was working as a sex worker, told police she was kidnapped, chained, sexually assaulted and locked inside a makeshift cell in the suspect’s garage.
“Police say she beat the door with her hands until they were bloody in order to break free. Her quick thinking and will to survive may have saved other women from a similar nightmare,” FBI Portland Assistant Special Agent in Charge Stephanie Shark said in a statement last week.
Handwritten notes that investigators found in Zuberi’s home appear to depict the suspect’s plans to organize and carry out his alleged crimes. One page of notes obtained by law enforcement titled “Operation Take Over” had two bullet points.
The first bullet said, “Leave phone at home.” The second stated, “Make sure they don’t have a bunch of ppl [sic] in their life. You don’t want any type of investigation.”
Another page showed a drawing with a note that said, “Dig a hole straight down 100 ft,” along with what appear to be the words, “concrete block,” “rubber coat,” “foam insulation” and “waterproof concrete.”
Just before his arrest July 15, Zuberi allegedly traveled from Klamath Falls to Seattle — about a 7½-hour drive — and solicited services from the victim, a sex worker. Zuberi then posed as a police officer and restrained the woman in handcuffs and leg irons while pointing a Taser at her, the FBI said.
The suspect drove the victim 450 miles back to his Oregon home and raped her during the trip back, according to an affidavit. He then allegedly held her hostage in the cell inside his garage, which had a door installed in reverse so that it could not be opened from the inside, the FBI said.
The victim “briefly slept and awoke to the realization that she would likely die if she did not attempt to escape,” an affidavit states. She “repeatedly banged on the door and was able to break the door open and escape the room. Once outside the cell, she observed … Zuberi’s vehicle parked in the garage, opened the vehicle door, observed the handgun, retrieved it and fled.”
Once outside Zuberi’s home, she flagged down a passing driver, who called 911.
Authorities located Zuberi parked in a Walmart parking lot in Reno, Nevada, July 16.
“Law enforcement observed Zuberi holding one of his children in the front seat of his vehicle. Zuberi’s wife was outside the vehicle speaking to him,” the affidavit states. “When Zuberi was contacted by law enforcement, he refused to exit the vehicle and cut himself with a sharp object, causing him to bleed profusely. He also attempted to destroy his phone. Zuberi eventually agreed to exit the vehicle and was taken into custody. The child was unharmed.”
It is unclear if Westfall is Zuberi’s wife mentioned in the most recent complaint.
The FBI believes Zuberi, who has ties to 10 different states over the last 10 years, may be involved in additional attacks and is asking any other victims who may have encountered the suspect to contact authorities. The other states may include California, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Alabama and Nevada.