Man Accused of Locking Woman In Homemade Cinderblock Cell Appeared on Judge Judy

Judy sided with Negasi Zuberi — the man recently accused of kidnapping — in the 2018 episode, after he showed video in which he and his wife appeared to get into a physical altercation.

Years before being arrested by the FBI on kidnapping charges, Negasi Zuberi appeared on a 2018 episode of Judge Judy.

Video from his episode was coincidentally posted online and spread through Facebook last month, before he made headlines last week when a woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted and held in a cinderblock cell in his Oregon home escaped and reported him to authorities.

Zuberi was charged with one count of interstate kidnapping, while the FBI said they’ve linked him to “additional violent sexual assaults in at least four states.”

During the 2018 appearance, Zuberi — then going by Justin Hyche, one of the three aliases the feds flagged — faced off against his wife and the mother of his kids, who was pregnant with their second child at the time.

Woman Escapes Kidnapper's Cinderblock Cell, Says FBI, Fearing Additional Victims

The televised courtroom dispute stemmed from an altercation which erupted when his wife came to his home to pick up their baby boy. He shared footage from the alleged incident, in which the two are seen arguing before she appears to swat his phone and can be heard throwing a glass bottle. He told Judy that his wife hit him three times in the head with the bottle, but police didn’t believe him. Zuberi then claimed he was arrested — even though he says he called police — and spent two days in jail before the charges were ultimately dismissed.

In the footage, his wife accused him of being “drunk,” as he kept telling her to stay away. He also claimed to have a restraining order against her.

When it was her time to talk, Zuberi’s wife explained that the two had a pretty stable coparenting schedule and she was supposed to pick up her son at 6pm. However, she didn’t show up until 11pm, telling Judy she was “a little bit too late because I went to get my nails done.” She accused him of being physical as well and said she called for an ambulance to check on her blood pressure, as she was pregnant at the time.

Judy called her story “baloney,” before asking Zuberi whether the child was his. He said “there could be a possibility,” before Judy tossed out the wife’s counter claim and ruled in Zuberi’s favor. He was awarded $2,500 for destroying property, as Judy told him, “I would’ve awarded you money for false arrest because I don’t think that 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.”

NBC News confirmed the woman who appeared in the episode later received an order of protection against Zuberi after she accused him of threatening to kill her and their two children.

The FBI’s Portland Field Office announced Zuberi’s arrest on Wednesday, detailing the horrific allegations facing him while also asking for the public’s help in tracking down more potential victims.

The FBI, citing court records, said Zuberi traveled from his home in Klamath Falls, Oregon to Seattle, Washington, where he hired a sex worker before posing as an undercover police officer. According to the victim, he then held a taser at her, telling her she was under arrest, before putting her in handcuffs and leg irons and bringing her back to his home — telling her he “needed to take her for processing.”

She said that on the trip back to Oregon, she was raped and sexually assaulted.

Upon returning to Oregon, the victim said Zuberi then put her into a “makeshift cell” he constructed in his garage, equipped with a door that couldn’t be opened from the inside. Per AP, a criminal complaint said the victim told police she “briefly slept and awoke to the realization that she would likely die if she did not attempt to escape.” She banged on the door until some of the door’s welded joints broke, creating an opening large enough for her to escape.

She then ran out of the house “screaming for help,” flagging down a passing motorist, who called authorities.

The local police department then received a search warrant for Zuberi’s residence, where they found the cell as described by the victim, as well as her purse. By this time, authorities say the suspect had already fled to Reno, Nevada with his wife and one of his children, where he was apprehended the next day following “a brief standoff with local police,” who tracked his location thanks to “cellphone technology.”

It’s unclear at this time whether the woman with him is the same one from the episode.

Are you or someone you know a recent survivor of sexual assault? Help is available. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) provides a 24/7 national sexual assault hotline, which can be reached at 1-800-656-4673.

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