Nicholas Rossi, accused of faking his death to avoid rape charges, is booked in Utah, extradited from Scotland
Jan 8, 2024, 11:52 AM | Updated: 12:02 pm
(Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)
FARMINGTON — Fugitive Nicholas Rossi, who is facing a pair of rape charges in Utah and who authorities say faked his own death to avoid prosecution, is back in the Beehive State.
Rossi, 36, was booked into the Davis County Jail on Friday after being extradited from Scotland to the United States by the U.S. Marshals Service.
He is facing rape charges in Salt Lake County and in Utah County. Although an initial court appearance had not been set as of Monday, a spokesman with the Utah County Attorney’s Office says it is anticipated the office will proceed with its case first before Salt Lake.
“The Utah County Attorney’s Office acknowledges the tremendous efforts from the Department of Justice, United States Marshal’s Office, the Scottish authorities and many others to return Mr. Rossi back to the United States,” the office said in a prepared statement on Monday.
— Garna Mejia (@GarnaMejiaKSL) January 8, 2024
In Utah County, Rossi is accused of raping a 21-year-old woman in Orem in 2008. At the time, however, the woman only knew Rossi by an alias, according to the Utah County Attorney’s Office. Rossi is accused of using at least eight different aliases over the years.
Because of a backlog of DNA kits submitted to the Utah State Crime Lab, Rossi wasn’t identified as a suspect until 2018. He was charged in Utah County in 2020.
Authorities then learned of a similar pattern of alleged behavior in Rhode Island, Ohio and Massachusetts, and that Rossi fled the country to avoid prosecution. His story took a bizarre twist when it was reported that in 2022 a man named Arthur Knight was arrested at a Glasgow hospital after being in the intensive care unit for a month while he was treated for COVID-19.
What followed was a lengthy legal battle with Rossi claiming he was really Knight, an Irish orphan who had never been to Utah and it was a case of mistaken identity. He eventually lost his court fight after DNA and distinctive tattoos were used to positively identify him as Rossi.
After Rossi made headlines for fighting extradition, another women came forward to say Rossi sexually assaulted her in South Salt Lake and in 2022 Rossi was charged in a second case with rape.