One of three charges against Nicholas Rossi dropped after court hearing
Feb 6, 2024, 6:12 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2024, 8:52 am
PROVO – One of the three Utah charges against rape suspect Nicholas Rossi was dismissed Tuesday during a Utah County court hearing.
After Judge Derek Pullan threatened the use of force during Rossi’s Jan. 16 hearing, which he “declined” to attend, Rossi appeared virtually before Pullan Tuesday afternoon.
During the initial hearing on the state’s 2008 rape charge out of Orem, Rossi once again appeared wearing an oxygen mask and told the judge that his name was not Nicholas Rossi.
Moments later, Utah County Attorney Stephen Jones requested that the state’s second case against Rossi, involving a 2008 sexual battery victim in Orem, be dismissed. The judge granted the request and ordered the case to be dismissed without prejudice.
According to the Utah County Attorney’s Office, the sexual battery case, a class A misdemeanor, was not part of the Department of Justice’s extradition order to bring Rossi to Utah from Scotland, where he was discovered in a hospital being treated for COVID-19 and living under the alias Arthur Knight. That order was specifically for the felony rape charges.
Tim Taylor, a chief deputy in the Utah County Attorney’s Office, says it was known that the sexual battery case would need to be dismissed once Rossi arrived in Utah and that the victim was consulted throughout the process.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Rossi also informed the judge that attorney Lance Bastain would be representing him in the rape case. Bastian told the judge that Rossi hasn’t formally retained him and that they’re still working on financial arrangements.
Rossi’s next court appearance is scheduled for March 5.