Oregon man accused of imprisoning sex worker tried to break out of jail


An Oregon man charged with kidnapping a Seattle sex worker and imprisoning her in a cinder block cell was caught unsuccessfully trying to bust out of his jail cell, authorities said on Friday.

Negasi Zuberi, 29, was caught trying to break through the glass in his cell window at the Jackson County Jail Tuesday afternoon, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

A county maintenance worker reported hearing suspicious sounds coming from Zuberi’s cell around 12:45 p.m. When deputies went to investigate, they found the inmate standing on his bunk bed beside the chipped window.

“Deputies detained Zuberi, sent him through the full-body scanner, and moved him to a hard cell with no exterior windows,” the sheriff’s office said. “While searching the cell further, deputies found an improvised tool that was suspected to have been used to damage the window.”

cell where Zuberi kept the woman.
Zuberi held the woman in cell he made out of cinder blocks in his garage.

The jail’s exterior windows are made of reinforced glass and Zuberi only caused damage to the interior layer, police said.

He was additionally charged with attempted escape and disorderly conduct.

Zuberi’s attorneys declined to comment on the incident.

The married father of two traveled roughly 450 miles from his Klamath Falls home to Seattle on July 15, where he picked up a prostitute and lied about being an undercover police officer, according to the FBI.

Zuberi was caught trying to break out of his jail cell after a maintenance worker reported a suspicious noise.

The woman claimed Zuberi allegedly held a taser at her and cuffed her hands and legs in the back seat as they trekked back to Oregon.

He held her in a makeshift cell he had built in her garage. She escaped when she beat the door open until her hands were bloodied before flagging a pedestrian to call the police.

Zuberi was tracked down by authorities in Reno, Nevada, on July 16 in a Walmart parking lot — about 250 miles from his home — and surrendered after a 45-minute standoff, according to the FBI.

A search of his home revealed notes that appear to depict the suspect’s plans to organize and carry out his alleged crimes.

Zuberi on Judge Judy in 2019
Zuberi and his wife appeared on an episode of Judge Judy in 2019
Judge Judy

Zuberi, who authorities say has used the aliases Justin Hyche, Justin Kouassi and Negasi Sakima, has pleaded not guilty to charges of interstate kidnapping and transporting an individual across state lines with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

He is facing life imprisonment, if convicted.

The FBI said it was looking for additional victims dating back to 2016 after linking him to violent sexual assaults in other states.

Zuberi, who went by at least 10 aliases over the years, and his wife appeared in an episode of Judge Judy in 2019. Using the name Justin Hythe, he sued his wife, Alycia Westfall, following a domestic dispute and for damaging his suits with bleach.

With Post Wires


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