Rape suspect who faked his own death extradited from Scotland to US

Nicholas Rossi, 36, claimed to be an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight in lengthy legal battle

Andy Gregory,Jane Dalton
Friday 05 January 2024 17:25 GMT
Nicholas Rossi leaves Edinburgh Sheriff and Justice of the Peace Court during his extradition hearing
Nicholas Rossi leaves Edinburgh Sheriff and Justice of the Peace Court during his extradition hearing (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

A fugitive accused of faking his own death while facing charges of rape and domestic abuse in the United States has been extradited from Scotland, according to reports.

Scottish ministers signed an order in September last year giving permission for Nicholas Rossi, 36, to be extradited, following a lengthy case in the Scottish courts.

Rossi had claimed he had been the victim of mistaken identity – telling courts he is an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight.

Nicholas Rossi came to the attention of authorities after being admitted to hospital in Glasgow with Covid
Nicholas Rossi came to the attention of authorities after being admitted to hospital in Glasgow with Covid (PA)

But a sheriff found he was Nicholas Rossi, and the appeal against extradition was dismissed in December, paving the way for him to be removed from the country.

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

Rossi is wanted in the US for allegedly raping a woman in Utah in 2008 and also faces a number of domestic abuse charges.

He initially came to the attention of the authorities after being admitted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow with Covid-19 in December 2021.

Rossi was served an Interpol red notice and a National Crime Agency certificate, a document Rossi claims never to have received, while he was in hospital the same month.

Rossi was born as Nicholas Alahverdian in Rhode Island, according to reports
Rossi was born as Nicholas Alahverdian in Rhode Island, according to reports (Getty Images)

It is understood that police in Essex are also investigating him in relation to a non-recent allegation of rape. He was arrested last year in connection with that investigation and has been bailed until March.

Rossi was born as Nicholas Alahverdian in Rhode Island, in July 1987 to Diana and Jack Alahverdian, according to reports in US newspaper The Providence Journal. He was adopted by his stepfather David Rossi, and changed his surname to Rossi.

After spending much of his adolescence in care, he spoke out against the conditions there, claiming to have suffered abuse and neglect.

Under the guise of Arthur Brown, Rossi is believed to have met his wife, Miranda Knight, in Bristol in 2019 and married her in early 2020, assuming the name Arthur Knight.

His case gathered international attention for its bizarre nature, with Rossi steadfastly claiming he was Knight. Edinburgh Sheriff Court also heard that his tattoos and fingerprints matched those of Rossi, who claimed he had been given the tattoos as part of an attempt to frame him while he was lying unconscious in hospital.

In his appeal against extradition, Rossi – who repeatedly criticised his own lawyers – represented himself.

He claimed that he would not receive a fair trial in the US because he was investigating those seeking to extradite him, that he had been denied medical care in prison, and hit out at what he called a “media circus” surrounding the case.

But the decision of Lady Dorrian, Lord Malcolm and Lord Armstrong said much of the material Rossi had included in his note of appeal had “absolutely no relevance” to it and the “only vaguely recognisable ground” he submitted was that of defective representation.

Additional reporting by PA

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in