American fugitive faked his own death to avoid rape allegations

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Last January, a 35-year-old Irish orphan named Arthur Knight was arrested at a hospital in Glasgow, Scotland.

Except the man wasn’t a Knight or an Irish orphan. He is Nicholas Rossi, a refugee from Rhode Island who faked his own death and fled the United States to avoid prosecution sexual assault in Orem, Utah, per statement by the Utah County Attorney’s Office.

Since his incarceration, Rossi has allegedly tried to convince authorities that he was in fact Arthur Knight (a reference to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table? Unclear.). This week a court in Edinburgh ruled that Rossi had hatched an elaborate plan – one that actually involved one Obituary on a memorial page, who claimed he died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in February 2020 – to avoid charges. Rossi’s true identity has been confirmed by his tattoos and fingerprints after he was arrested at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital “on charges of obstructing judicial process and allegedly threatening or abusive conduct”.

“I am ultimately satisfied with the balance of probabilities, taken together by the fingerprint, photograph and tattoo evidence, supported by the name change evidence, that Mr. Knight is in fact Nicholas Rossi, the person sought by extradition to the United States.” , said Judge Norman McFadyen. A hearing is reportedly set to take place in March to determine when Rossi will be extradited to US authorities.

“In 2018, the DNA profile of the Utah sexual assault came back as a match to a sexual assault case in Ohio,” Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said in a statement following Rossi’s arrest. Rossi was further convicted two gender related fees from a 21-year-old Ohio woman on September 13, 2008. Authorities believe it is likely that Rossi may be linked to other sexual assaults.

“I’m not going to lie to you, part of me found it a bit suspicious,” Jeffrey Pine, who represented Rossi in 2018 and 2019 on charges of failing to register as a sex offender properly because of a previous out-of-state sex crime conviction, said NBC. “I found the circumstances a bit suspicious. But then again, I accepted what his wife told me. I mean, I don’t want to offend anyone by saying he’s not dead.” Yes, Rossi is married.

It’s still unclear when Rossi fled the US, but Leavitt said if he hadn’t been hospitalized for COVID-19, he likely wouldn’t have been spotted. Pictures by Rossi Tattoos and fingerprints, leaked via an Interpol Red Notice, helped Scottish officials identify him.

“It’s a lot harder than people imagine,” Leavitt said of tracing people who evade the charge. In fairness, in this current system, it’s hard enough to even bring suspected sex offenders to justice. American fugitive faked his own death to avoid rape allegations

Adam Bradshaw

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