Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Jane Dalton

Rape suspect Nicholas Rossi can be extradited to US, judge rules


A man facing charges of rape and domestic abuse in the US may be extradited from Scotland after judges refused his appeal.

Nicholas Rossi, who has been accused of faking his own death to avoid prosecution, insists he is a victim of mistaken identity and has been fighting his case in the Scottish courts.

His counsel earlier this year said his client was wanted for questioning about an alleged rape in England.

Rossi’s extradition was approved by Scottish ministers in September (Andrew Milligan/PA)
— (PA Archive)

In September, Scottish ministers signed an order giving permission for Rossi, 36, to be extradited, following a lengthy legal battle. He lodged an appeal against the extradition order, which was heard in Edinburgh last week.

But in a decision published on Thursday, judges refused the appeal, concluding there was “no merit in any of the appellant’s arguments”.

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.

Despite a sheriff ruling that he is Rossi, he claims to be an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight.

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.

In Jewish clothing, he smiled and waved leaving court earlier this year
— (Getty Images)

In late 2019, Rossi claimed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Friends said he claimed he was dying. During his legal battle in Scotland, he wore an oxygen mask and used a wheelchair.

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.

Rossi converted to Judaism while in HMP Edinburgh, where he has been held since last year. During a week-long hearing in June, he wore Orthodox Jewish clothing.

Representing himself in court on Thursday last week, Rossi called for an extension to his appeal period to allow him more time to present new evidence.

He also moved to be granted bail, and to have the court impose restrictions on the media reporting of his case.

On Thursday, Rossi again argued in court that he was the subject of mistaken identity and objected to lawyers referring to him as Rossi, which drew a rebuke from Lord Justice Clerk Lady Dorrian.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.