Man arrested in Scotland is missing US fugitive Nicholas Rossi, court rules

Edinburgh court says rape suspect’s claims are ‘scandalous’ and ‘entirely fanciful’

Nicholas Rossi composite
Nicholas Rossi is wanted in the US over allegations of rape
(Image credit: Pawtucket Police Department)

A man who has been fighting extradition to the US on the grounds of mistaken identity has been confirmed by a Scottish court to be the rape suspect Nicholas Rossi.

The attempts by the man calling himself Arthur Knight to explain why he is not a fugitive who allegedly faked his own death and fled to Scotland from the US were dismissed as “scandalous” and “entirely fanciful” at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, said Sky News.

The 35-year-old man was arrested at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital last December after being accused of abusing medical staff while receiving treatment for Covid-19. Since then he has claimed he is Arthur Knight, an orphan from Ireland who has never visited the US.

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But Edinburgh Sheriff Court has now ruled that he is Rossi, who has been sought by US authorities in relation to two rape allegations and one of sexual assault. When he was found guilty in August of abusing hospital staff, the court heard that he also goes by other names such as “Nicholas Alahverdian, Nicholas Brown, Arthur Winston Brown and Arthur Knight Brown”, said Glasgow Live.

Rossi had insisted that his own distinctive tattoos, which matched those of the US suspect being sought by Interpol, had been applied to him while he was unconscious in hospital by someone who was attempting to frame him.

He “sacked at least six lawyers” during preliminary court hearings and also claimed to have been “tortured” in prison, The Guardian said.

But at a three-day hearing in Edinburgh, Sheriff Norman McFadyen said that Rossi’s numerous name changes were “highly suspicious” and “consistent with someone who was hiding from someone or something”.

McFadyen also said that fingerprint and photographic evidence supported the man’s identification as Rossi, and each would have been sufficient to determine who he was, even before his tattoos were considered.

He will now face an extradition hearing in March next year and could be sent back to the US to stand trial.

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