A Rhode Island man, who had been hospitalized with COVID-19, was arrested in Scotland, two years after he faked his death to dodge a 2008 sexual assault charge in Utah, NBC News reports.
Nicholas Rossi has used at least eight different aliases, including Arthur Knight, which was the name provided at the hospital in Glasgow where he spent a month in the ICU due to complications from COVID, per KSL-TV. Utah County Attorney David O. Leavitt admits Rossi could have probably continued to live “off the grid” if it weren’t for his hospitalization.
“It’s a lot more difficult than people imagine,” Leavitt said. “People may not know where you are, but with social media, the world is small enough that if anyone sees a picture of you…if you’re going to be off the grid, you better stay in your house and never leave, because someone is going to see you.”
In 2008, Rossi was accused of raping a 21-year-old woman, who likely knew him under a different alias. The charges weren’t brought forth until a decade later when the woman’s rape kit was among the hundreds that were finally tested, thanks to the Utah Sex Assault Kit Initiative, after being kept in storage for years.
In 2018, authorities discovered that Rossi was also tied to sexual assault, harassment, and possible kidnapping cases in Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Utah. Prosecutors in Utah were led to believe Rossi “fled the country to avoid prosecution,” and faked his death by posting his obituary on the site EverLoved.com, which states Nicholas Alahverdian died on Feb. 29, 2020 from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Utah County Attorney’s Office is working with federal and international agencies on getting him extradited to Utah.