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Daily Record
Daily Record
Alan McEwen

US rape suspect Nicholas Rossi to make freedom bid from Scots jail within days

US rape suspect Nicholas Rossi is making a bid to be freed from a Scots jail within the coming days.

Lawyers for Rossi, who fled to Scotland from America to escape an array of alleged offences, are making a fresh application for bail.

The 35-year-old, who maintains he is actually a man called Arthur Knight, is currently being held in the city’s Saughton Prison.

Rossi appeared via video link at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday in a wheelchair wearing his oxygen mask.

Defence agent David Kinloch said the application to be freed from custody would be submitted to the appeal court, which revoked Rossi’s bail in July.

Mr Kinloch said such an application would be considered within five working days, meaning Rossi could be out before his next hearing in a week’s time.

His lawyer also told the court that Rossi was examined and his body photographed in Saughton last Thursday evening in a bid to determine his identity.

Prosecutors have photos of the man they say is Nicholas Rossi, including his distinctive tattoos, the court heard.

Mr Kinloch said he was present when his client was photographed, adding the Crown were now “in possession of these photographs”.

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

He told a hearing last month he’d had a heart attack in jail while his mental health was deteriorating and he was suffering from hallucinations.

Mr Kinloch told Thursday’s hearing that Rossi had been interviewed by a forensic psychologist, but her report on his mental state hasn't been sent to his office.

He said the NHS had been unwilling to release medical records for Nicholas Rossi to the psychologist as the mandate form was signed by ‘Arthur Knight’.

NHS bosses had insisted it be signed by ‘Nicholas Rossi’ and Mr Kinloch said: “That has been achieved.”

Mr Kinloch applied for a further notional hearing to be set for next Thursday.

Advocate depute Paul Harvey said he was content for another hearing to be held next week.

Mr Harvey told the court the Crown wished to preserve five days of court time set down next month for a sheriff to “hear questions of identity” in the case.

Sheriff Kenneth Campbell KC set the notional diet for October 13.

US prosecutors claim Rossi raped a 21-year-old in Utah, in 2008. He is also said to have attacked women in Rhode Island, Ohio and Massachusetts. They say he has previously used the names Nick Alan, Nicholas Brown, Arthur Brown and Arthur Knight.

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.

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