US Fugitive Accused Of Faking His Death To Avoid Rape Charges Extradited From Scotland

(AP) — An elusive United States fugitive accused of faking his death and travelling the globe to avoid rape charges has been extradited to Utah from Scotland.

The Utah County prosecutor’s office said Friday the man known in the US as Nicholas Rossi, whose legal name is Nicholas Alahverdian, is charged with sexually assaulting a former girlfriend in Orem, Utah, in 2008, according to local prosecutors.

He also faces multiple complaints against him in Rhode Island for alleged domestic violence.

Rossi, 36, was Utah-bound on Friday and will stand trial in Utah County for felony rape charges, county prosecutor David Leavitt said.

“This is a great day,” Leavitt said in a statement thanking his staff for working with US and international authorities to identify Rossi and bring him to justice more than a decade after his alleged crimes.

In response to an inquiry from The Associated Press about Rossi’s return, Police Scotland would only confirm it assisted other law enforcement agencies to extradite a 36-year-old man.

Rossi’s run from the law took a bizarre turn when he was arrested in December 2021 after being recognised by someone at a Glasgow hospital while he was being treated for COVID-19.

He insisted he was an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight and had never set foot on American soil.

The man had said he was framed by authorities who took his fingerprints while he was in a coma so they could connect him to Rossi.

He repeatedly appeared in court in a wheelchair, using an oxygen mask and speaking in a less-than-convincing British accent.

After a protracted court battle, Judge Norman McFadyen of Edinburgh Sheriff Court ruled in August that the extradition could move forward.

The judge called Rossi “as dishonest and deceitful as he is evasive and manipulative.”