After Negasi Zuberi was taken into federal custody last week, viewers resurfaced his episode of 'Judge Judy.'
A former Judge Judy plaintiff has found himself in far more serious legal trouble.
Negasi Zuberi, 29, who uses several aliases, was taken into federal custody last week after allegedly kidnapping, assaulting and imprisoning a Washington sex worker at his home in Klamath Falls, Oregon, last month.
According to the FBI, on July 15, 2023, Zuberi drove to Seattle where he hired a sex worker and then pretended to be an undercover police officer in order to place her in handcuffs and leg irons and put her in his car. He allegedly sexually assaulted her as he drove back to Klamath Falls, and, upon returning to his home, allegedly put her in a makeshift cell that he built in his garage out of cinderblocks, locking the door from the outside.
The victim claims that after Zuberi left her alone in the cell, she repeatedly banged on the door until she was able to break it open and escape, flagging down a passing motorist who called 9-1-1. Zuberi allegedly fled and was later arrested in Reno, Nevada, after a standoff with police.
"According to the complaint, this woman was kidnapped, chained, sexually assaulted, and locked in a cinderblock cell. 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," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Stephanie Shark of the FBI Portland Field Office in a statement. "We are fortunate that this brave woman escaped and alerted authorities. Through quick law enforcement action, we were able to get Zuberi in custody the next day. 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."
Zuberi has lived in 10 states over the last 10 years, and the FBI's investigation into other possible victims has extended to multiple states where he previously resided between August of 2016 and today. Those states could include California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Alabama, and Nevada.
Zuberi, who also goes by "Sakima," "Justin Hyche" and "Justin Kouassi," appeared in a September 2019 episode of Judge Judy, suing Alycia Westfall, the mother of his two children, following a domestic dispute. Judge Judy ruled in his favor, ordering Westfall to pay him $2,500 in damages. However, Westfall was later granted a temporary restraining order against Zuberi after alleging -- in court documents from 2020 obtained by the New York Post -- that he was "verbally, financially and mentally abusive" to her and their children.
The FBI has set up a tip line, 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), and website for anyone who thinks they have information about Zuberi or his potential victims.