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Daily Record
Daily Record
Alan McEwen

US fugitive Nicholas Rossi hit with second extradition bid over more alleged sex attacks

Fugitive Nicholas Rossi has been hit with a second extradition request by US authorities over an alleged rape and a sexual assault.

The 35-year-old is currently fighting a request for him to be returned to America to face prosecution over a 2008 rape charge in Utah.

At his extradition hearing on Wednesday, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard a new request had been made by Utah prosecutors.

The court heard two women are making allegations against Rossi over another 2008 rape and a sex attack.

Advocate depute Paul Harvey said the extradition request had been certified by Scottish Ministers and the relevant paperwork shown to Rossi.

The court is on its third day of evidence on determining Rossi’s identity as he claims to be a man called Arthur Knight.

Rossi, who is accused of faking his own death in the US, was arrested at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow last December while receiving treatment for Covid-19.

Sheriff Norman McFadyen heard arguments from both prosecution and defence on the identity issue. The sheriff said he would issue a ruling on whether he was satisfied Rossi was the person sought in the US in court on Friday at 10am.

He also denied Rossi's latest application for bail.

In July it was reported that Utah prosecutors had charged Rossi in his absence with a second 2008 rape in Salt Lake City.

Mr Harvey told the court two women in Utah had come forward to make “sexual allegations” against Rossi in the wake of publicity over his case.

He said US diplomats had passed on the extradition request for the “two additional sexual offences” which relate to “different complainers from the present case”.

Mr Harvey added: “This morning the Scottish Ministers certified the extradition request.”

Mungo Bovey KC, defending the accused, said he hadn’t had the opportunity to properly consult with his client over the new extradition bid.

Sheriff McFadyen granted him time on Wednesday morning for him to consult with his client on the matter.

After the 20 minute break, Rossi returned to the court loudly weeping in his wheelchair.

Mr Bovey informed the sheriff he’d been unable to take “intelligible instructions” from Rossi who had “become emotional”.

He said he now no longer planned to call a Utah lawyer as a defence witness to testify over video link about Rossi’s tattoos.

The hearing instead moved onto the summing up phase on the issue of Rossi’s identity.

On Tuesday Rossi told the hearing he was extensively tattooed while in a coma at the Glasgow hospital in a bid to frame him as a wanted fugitive.

The court has been shown photos from an Interpol red notice showing various tattoos documented on Rossi’s arms by US law enforcement.

Rossi also alleged his fingerprints had been taken by an NHS worker called ‘Patrick’ at the hospital and used to fake a match with the wanted man.

In his summing up, Mr Harvey dismissed the fingerprint claim as “entirely outlandish”.

Later Mr Bovey criticised much of the case presented on Rossi's identity, describing the fingerprint evidence as "unsatisfactory in a number of respects" and highlighting the failure to present DNA evidence. He told the sheriff: "I invite Your Lordship not to be satisfied that this man is Nicholas Rossi."

US prosecutors claimed in the first extradition request that Rossi raped a 21-year-old in Utah, in 2008. He is also said to have attacked women in Rhode Island, Ohio and Massachusetts.

Rossi reportedly told US media in December 2019 that he had late-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma and had weeks to live. Several outlets reported that he had died in February 2020.

The hearing continues.


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