American sex offender who pretended to be Irish orphan finally extradited to US from Scotland
On Friday, American sex offender Nicholas Rossi, 36, was extradited from Scotland where he had been hiding out after he allegedly faked his death to avoid rape allegations in Utah.
According to the BBC, Rossi, who is also known as Nicholas Alahverdian and Arthur Knight, was arrested in December 2021 when he sought treatment for COVID-19 in Glasgow.
Rossi had maintained that authorities had the wrong guy and that he was an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight. During a court hearing, he even claimed that he had been given tattoos while he was unconscious in the hospital in an attempt to frame him.
In a bizarre interview with Dateline last April, where Rossi still claimed to be Arthur Knight, he said he “would like to go back to being a normal husband.” When asked what he would say to someone who believes he is Nicholas Alahverdian, he said with labored breath, “I am not Nicholas Alahverdian and I do not know how to make this any clearer.”
Rossi has at least 10 aliases and used “Nicholas Alahverdian” in an attempt to fake his own death in Rhode Island in 2020. A false obiturary stated, “Mr. Alahverdian was a devout Roman Catholic. In keeping with Mr. Alahverdian’s wishes, his earthly remains were cremated with his ashes scattered at sea.”
“Statesmen and stateswomen in the House of Representatives and Senate joined with Mayors across Rhode Island in homage to a man whom they acknowledged as ‘one of the most vocal, outspoken and constructive advocates for reforming Rhode Island’s DCYF and the child care system’ and a ‘fighter in spirit but a peacemaker in practice’ for two decades,” the false obituary continued. The obituary falsely credits him with becoming an alum of Harvard and spending 20 years being in the House of Representatives and Senate.
According to reporting from the AP, Rossi is wanted in the state for not having registered as a sex offender.
Scotland’s Justice Secretary Angela Constance approved Rossi’s extradition in September, but he appealed the decision. He lost his appeal on Dec. 14 and was scheduled to be returned to Utah.
First Minister Humza Yousaf praised the cooperation between Scottish and US authorities. He said, “I commend our court system that looked at this issue thoroughly and came to the conclusion he should be extradited.” Yousaf added, “I’ll let justice take its course in the United States.”
In 2008, Rossi was found guilty of sexual imposition and public indecency in Ohio. He was later accused and wanted for rape in Utah after he allegedly attacked a former girlfriend and forced her to have sex with him.
Rossi has had a lengthy history with similar crimes. Court filings reported on by the Deseret News allege, “In each case, there is a consistent pattern of behavior, where the defendant will meet a female online, he will initially meet with them in public, eventually going somewhere alone with the female, and will initiate some inappropriate contact, leading the female to want to leave.”
Then, police in Utah stated, Rossi will threaten suicide or force a “non-consensual sexual encounter.”
In a statement, former Utah county attorney David O Leavitt, who had made prosecuting Rossi a priority, said: “I want to express my wholehearted respect and gratitude for police and court agencies across the world who have sought to assure justice is sought by sending this individual back to stand trial.”
“Now it will be Utah County’s turn to stand up for these victims. The victims deserve no less, and the world will be watching.”