Klamath Falls man indicted after police say he kidnapped and sexually assaulted WA woman
Negasi Zuberi was charged in federal court today with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Seattle woman.
The FBI's Portland Field Office is asking for the public's help identifying additional victims of a violent sex offender.
Zuberi, 29, is accused of kidnapping a woman in Seattle, sexually assaulting her and driving her to his home in Klamath Falls. Authorities say he then locked her in a makeshift cinder block cell he had built in his garage. The woman was able to escape and seek help from a passing driver.
Zuberi is now in federal custody. He will be extradited to Medford in the coming weeks. He has been charged with interstate kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and with transporting an individual across state lines with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, which is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.
Police say Zuberi has already been linked to at least four violent sexual assaults in four other states, and they believe he has more victims.
"The disturbing evidence uncovered to date points to an individual’s ongoing and escalating pattern of violence targeting women in multiple states throughout the country," FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Stephanie Shark said during a press conference in Portland on Wednesday.
Zuberi has lived in at least 10 states since 2016, including California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Alabama and Nevada.
He also uses multiple aliases, including Sakima, Justin Hyche and Justin Kouassi.
According to the FBI, Zuberi traveled from his home in Klamath Falls to Seattle on Saturday, July 15. There, he solicited the services of a prostitute, then posed as an undercover police officer with a badge. The victim said he pointed a taser at her, placed her in handcuffs and leg irons and put her in the back seat of the car. He then drove back to Klamath Falls and sexually assaulted her during the trip.
After several hours locked in the cell, she was able to break the door open and escape. She flagged down a passing driver, who called 911.
The Klamath Falls Police Department obtained a search warrant for Zuberi's residence and found the cell the victim had described. Zuberi fled and was located in a Walmart public parking lot in Reno on July 16. When contacted by law enforcement, he refused to exit the vehicle, cut himself with a sharp object and attempted to destroy his phone. Eventually, he was taken into custody.
Police say he may also have drugged victims' drinks and impersonated a police officer with other victims.
"I want to thank the brave women who fought for their lives to get us where we are here today. Now, it is our turn to take their burden and fight for them, any other victims out there and seek justice," Shark said.
At the press conference, she did not answer questions about Zuberi's wife's knowledge of his actions, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation. No one else has been charged at this point.
If you believe you have been a victim or have any information concerning Zuberi, call 1-800-CALL-FBI. You can also contact the FBI Portland Field Office at 503-224-4181, your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
This story was updated to include Zuberi's indictment.