(KRON) — A man who allegedly held a woman captive inside a homemade cinder block dungeon has a sexually violent criminal history in Alameda County, court documents show.
Negasi Zuberi, 29, targeted women who he believed wouldn’t be missed, according to the FBI. The FBI said its investigators believe Zuberi used several different methods to gain control of his victims, including by drugging their drinks, impersonating a police officer, and making threats.
Zuberi went by many aliases, including “Justin,” “Justin Hyche,” “Justin Kouassi,” and “Sakima,” FBI investigators said.
According to Alameda County court documents, Zuberi allegedly targeted and raped underage teen girls in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2016 and 2020. At the time, he went by the name “Justin Hyche.”
Underage girls victimized in Oakland
On May 26, 2020, Zuberi beat, strangled, and raped a 16-year-old girl inside a car in Oakland, court documents obtained by KRON4 show.
The 16-year-old girl told police that Zuberi “flew into a rage. (Zuberi) punched victim three times in her right eye with his right fist, while his left hand held her neck,” court documents state. The girl tried to escape from the car but the doors were locked. The girl cried as she was raped and strangled, documents state. After the assault, Zuberi threw the girl and her belongings out of his car and drove off, according to court documents.
Zuberi was arrested by Oakland police officers at a Contra Costa County jail on Oct. 2, 2020 in connection to the May 2020 rape case. He pleaded no contest in December of 2020 to assault. He was granted probation by a judge after serving 56 days in jail.
In 2021, his probation was revoked and a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to report to his Alameda County probation officer. “The defendant has failed to report as directed in May 2021, July 14, 2021, October 7, 2021, and October 21, 2021,” his probation officer wrote.
In 2016, Zuberi was living on 82nd Avenue in Oakland when he allegedly victimized a Newark high school student. The 16-year-old girl told police that she met “Justin” at a McDonalds restaurant in Oakland and they had sexual relations. The girl told one of her summer school campus monitors that she was fearful that she may be pregnant, and her mother called police. Zuberi was arrested by Newark police officers for felony unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He pleaded no contest in 2017 and was sentenced to 60 days in Alameda County jail.
The FBI said Zuberi lived in Oakland and Antioch intermittently between 2012 and 2021.
The FBI’s Portland Field Office is asking for the public’s help to identify more potential victims of Zuberi, who has lived in at least 10 states.
‘Judge Judy’ episode
Zuberi appeared on a 2019 television episode of “Judge Judy” when he sued the mother of his two children over a domestic dispute, according to Entertainment Tonight. During the episode, Zuberi claimed that his ex-fiancé assaulted him in front of their baby during a custody exchange.
Judge Judy took issue with the ex-fiancé after she admitted that she was five hours late for picking up the baby from Zuberi’s house. The former couple was living in separate apartments at the time. The ex-fiancé said she was late because she was “getting my nails done.”
Judge Judy sided with Zuberi and ordered the ex-fiancé to pay $2,500 in damages.
Cinder block dungeon in Oregon
The FBI said Zuberi was arrested in July after a woman escaped his home in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The woman was kidnapped in Washington, sexually assaulted, and locked in a cinderblock cell until she punched her way out. According to court records, on July 15, Zuberi traveled to Seattle where he solicited a prostitute. 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 home, Zuberi 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 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.
“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 FBI agent Stephanie Shark of the FBI Portland Field Office.
Zuberi arrested 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,” Shark said.
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.
Zuberi is currently in custody at Washoe County Jail in Reno and facing interstate kidnapping charges.
If you believe you have been a victim or have any information concerning Zuberi, go to fbi.gov/ZuberiVictims or call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). You can also contact the FBI Portland Field Office at 503-224-4181, your local FBI office.