US fugitive Nicholas Rossi extradited from Scotland

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Nicholas Rossi has been returned to the US to face rape charges

An American suspected of faking his own death and hiding out in Scotland has been extradited back to the US.

A court ruled the man claiming to be an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight was actually registered sex offender Nicholas Rossi.

The 36-year-old was caught while being treated for Covid-19 when he was arrested at a hospital in Glasgow in December 2021.

He is wanted in Utah in connection with rape claims.

It is understood Rossi – also known in the US as Nicholas Alahverdian – left on a private flight from Edinburgh Airport on Friday.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We assisted partner agencies with the extradition of a 36-year-old man.”

Officers in Essex are also understood to be investigating Rossi in connection with a non-recent allegation of rape reported to them in April 2022.

He has been bailed again in that investigation until March this year.

Rossi lost his final appeal against being returned to his homeland on 14 December.

Scotland’s Justice Secretary Angela Constance signed an order approving the decision in September.

He had claimed to be a victim of mistaken identity, insisting he was Arthur Knight after officers detained him at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

The story of Nicholas Rossi, the US fugitive who ‘faked his own death’ (Video by Morgan Spence, Graham Fraser and David MacNicol)

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that his tattoos and fingerprints matched those of Rossi, with Sheriff Norman McFadyen ruling that he was indeed the fugitive in November of last year.

However, Rossi claimed he had been given the tattoos as part of an attempt to frame him while he was lying unconscious in hospital.

Sheriff McFadyen dismissed that as “fanciful,” adding his repeated name changes were “consistent with someone with something to hide”.

Rossi had been found guilty of sexual imposition and public indecency while a student at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio, in 2008.

He is alleged to have attacked a former girlfriend, pushing her on to a couch and forcing her to have sex while ignoring her pleas to stop.

First Minister Humza Yousaf said he did not want to “prejudice any potential inquiry or court case” in the future but praised the Scottish authorities’ co-operation with colleagues in the US during the saga.

He said: “I commend our court system that looked at this issue thoroughly and came to the conclusion he should be extradited.

“I’ll let justice take its course in the United States.”

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