(KRON) – A man who allegedly held a woman captive inside a homemade cinder block dungeon in Oregon appeared on a 2018 television episode of “Judge Judy” to sue the mother of his two children over a domestic dispute, according to multiple reports.
Negasi Zuberi, 29, was arrested in July after a woman escaped his home in Klamath Falls, Oregon, the FBI announced last week. The victim had been kidnapped in Seattle, Washington, before being sexually assaulted and locked in a cinderblock cell.
The victim punched her way out of the cell after Zuberi left, then escaped and flagged down a passing motorist, according to the FBI.
Zuberi fled to Reno, Nevada, where he was taken into custody on July 16. He has since been linked to several additional violent sexual assaults in other states including Colorado.
‘Judge Judy’ appearance
This week, reports also emerged that Zuberi appeared on “Judge Judy” in 2019, claiming that his ex-fiancé assaulted him in front of their baby during a custody exchange, according to sources including Entertainment Weekly and NBC News.
Zuberi had used the alias “Justin Hyche” during the appearance.
In the episode, Judge Judy took issue with the ex-fiancé after she admitted that she was five hours late picking up the baby from Zuberi’s house. The ex-fiancé said she was late because she was “getting my nails done,” according to clips of the episode.
Judge Judy ultimately sided with Zuberi and ordered the ex-fiancé to pay $2,500 in damages.
Abduction, cinder block cell
On July 15, 2023, Zuberi traveled to Seattle where he solicited a prostitute, according to the FBI. The victim told investigators that he pretended to be a police officer, pointed a Taser at her, placed her in handcuffs and leg irons, and put her in the back seat of his car.
He then traveled 450 miles with the woman and sexually assaulted her during the trip, the FBI said.
Once he arrived at the home in Klamath Falls, Oregon, the suspect forced the woman into a makeshift dungeon that he had constructed in his garage, the FBI said. The cell was made of cinder blocks and a metal door was installed in reverse so it could not be opened from the inside. Once Zuberi left, the victim punched through the door, escaped the room, and flagged down a passing motorist, the FBI said.
Zuberi fled from Oregon before the Klamath Falls Police Department obtained a search warrant for his home and found the cinder block cell.
Arrest in Reno
Zuberi was found hiding in Reno, Nevada, and was taken into custody on July 16.
“We are fortunate that this brave woman escaped and alerted authorities. While she may have helped protect future victims, sadly we have now linked Zuberi to additional violent sexual assaults in at least four states, and there could be more,” Stephanie Shark, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Portland field office.
The FBI’s investigation has extended to multiple states where Zuberi previously resided, including California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Alabama, and Nevada.
During these previous incidents, Zuberi may have used many aliases, including “Justin,” “Justin Hyche,” “Justin Kouassi,” and “Sakima,” FBI investigators said.
He also targeted women who he believed wouldn’t be missed, according to the FBI. Investigators believe Zuberi used several different methods to gain control of his victims, including drugging their drinks, impersonating a police officer, and making threats.
He was also accused of strangling, beating and raping a 16-year-old girl inside a car in Oakland, California, in May 2020, court documents obtained by Nexstar’s KRON showed. He pleaded no contest in December of 2020 to assault and was granted probation by a judge after serving 56 days in jail.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Zuberi’s, or has information concerning the investigation, is urged to visit fbi.gov/ZuberiVictims or call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). Information can also be submitted to FBI field offices across the country.