US citizen who faked his own death to avoid rape charges extradited to Utah

News & Politics

A U.S. fugitive who evaded rape charges by allegedly faking his own death and traveling around the world has finally been extradited from Scotland to Utah. He has previously been seen sitting in a wheelchair with a breathing apparatus over his mouth and nose.

Nicholas Rossi, whose legal name is Nicholas Alahverdian, has been charged with sexually assaulting his former girlfriend in Orem, Utah. The alleged incident took place in 2008, according to the Associated Press. The 36-year-old has also been accused of domestic violence in Rhode Island.

Rossi was reportedly headed for Utah on Friday and set to stand trial in Utah County for felony rape charges, according to prosecutor David Leavitt.

Leavitt said that “[t]his is a great day,” going on to thank his staff for the effort they put in to bring Rossi back to the U.S. to face charges.

Blaze News previously reported that Alahverdian was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in July 1987. During his childhood, he spent substantial time in the child welfare system associated with Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth and Families. He allegedly suffered abuse while in the system, and he later became a high-profile advocate for department reform. He was known by many politicians in the state.

Alahverdian was subsequently adopted by his stepfather, David Rossi, and took on the Rossi surname. He studied at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio, where he was accused and convicted of sexual imposition and public indecency in 2008.

It was not until 2019 that Rossi claimed that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. An obituary was published, announcing the passing of a man named “Nicholas Alahverdian,” in February 2020. The obituary suggested that a number of politicians in Rhode Island paid tribute to the man they believed had fought for child welfare reform.

In December 2021, less than two years after the obituary had been published, the DNA of a man who had been admitted into a hospital in Glasgow with COVID matched that of Rossi. However, the man in Scotland denied being Rossi, insisting that his name was Arthur Knight.

Hospital staff immediately recognized Knight after they were shown a photo of Rossi. Knight even had the same tattoos as Rossi. Knight, who turned out to be Rossi in disguise, was soon arrested and taken into custody in a Scottish jail.

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