US man who faked death to evade rape charge rearrested after skipping hearing

An American fugitive who is believed to have faked his own death to evade a rape charge has been arrested after skipping his extradition hearing in Scotland.

Nicholas Rossi, who used several aliases while on the run from US authorities, was wanted by Interpol in connection with the alleged sexual assault in Utah in 2008.

The 34-year-old was arrested using the alias Arthur Knight at the Queen Elizabeth University hospital in Glasgow on 13 December last year after he almost died from Covid.

He was expected to appear at Edinburgh sheriff court on Thursday for his extradition hearing but failed to attend and a warrant was issued for his arrest, the Mail Online reported.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Officers arrested a 34-year-old man in the Woodlands area of Glasgow today, Thursday, 20 January 2022, in connection with an arrest warrant. He is due to appear at Edinburgh sheriff court on Friday.”

David Leavitt, Utah county attorney, said: “We again express our gratitude to the law enforcement agencies for their diligent efforts in this matter to bring this individual to justice.

“We do not comment on extradition proceedings or on the details of the work done in the course of this ongoing investigation.”

Utah prosecutors previously said the alleged fugitive “fled the country to avoid prosecution” and “attempted to lead investigators and state legislators in other states to believe that he was deceased”.

Rossi used many aliases while on the run, including Nicholas Alahverdian, Nicholas Alahverdian Rossi, Nicholas Edward Rossi, Nicholas Alahverdian-Rossi, Nick Alan, Nicholas Brown, Arthur Brown and Arthur Knight.

It was reported by several media outlets in 2020 that Nicholas Alahverdian had died on 29 February 2020 from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The website EverLoved.com claimed that his body was cremated, while his ashes were supposedly scattered at sea.

Rossi reportedly used the alias while living in the US state of Rhode Island and was involved in local politics. The Utah rape charge came as part of a review of historical sex assault cases where DNA evidence kits had not been tested.

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