Accused rapist who faked death re-arrested in Scotland, prosecutor says

Jan 20, 2022, 3:10 PM
scotland rapist courthouse...
FILE: Edinburgh Sheriff Court is pictured in Edinburgh, Scotland. Authorities there arrested Nicholas Alahverdian, who faces rape charges in Ohio and Utah. (Photo by Duncan McGlynn /Getty Images)
(Photo by Duncan McGlynn /Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah — A suspected rapist, wanted both in Utah and Ohio and accused of faking his own death, is back in custody in Scotland, according to the Utah County Attorney’s office.

Related: Accused US rapist found on a ventilator in Scotland under assumed name

Criminal background

Nicholas Alahverdian, alias Nicholas Rossi, came to the attention of Utah authorities in 2018. A year earlier, authorities submitted a rape kit to the Utah State Crime Lab as part of the Utah Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

Then, in 2018, the test results came back as a match for Rossi/Alahverdian. That led to the filing of criminal charges in the fall of 2020, charges that remained sealed until earlier this month. 

“In researching Nicholas Rossi, (investigators) located police reports involving criminal cases of sex assault, harassment, and possible kidnapping from 2007 through 2019. The police reports were obtained from Rhode Island, Ohio, Utah and Massachusetts,” the charging documents read.

According to the Utah County Attorney’s office, Alahverdian allegedly used as many as eight aliases. 

A pattern of behavior and a faked death

In researching the case, investigators discovered what they called a “consistent pattern of behavior.” Specifically, in cases from multiple jurisdictions, the charging documents allege a tendency to meet a romantic interest online, make contact, threaten to hurt himself, then tell police the woman was the aggressor. 

In the Utah case, police said Alahverdian met a 21-year-old woman on MySpace in 2008 while going by the alias Nicholas Rossi. The unnamed woman said he sexually assaulted her in his apartment. 

Also in 2008, Alahverdian was convicted on two sex-related charges after an encounter with a fellow student in a stairwell at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, according to court documents, The Providence Journal reported Jan. 14.

He is suspected of carrying out multiple other sex attacks and was also accused of a $200,000 fraud after taking out credit cards and loans in his foster mother’s husband’s name in Ohio, according to a report Thursday in The Daily Mail.

“Dead” suspected rapist appears in Scotland

The story gets stranger from there. WPRI in Providence reported that Alahverdian, who moved out of the country with his wife and two kids in 2016, faked his own death. His wife claimed he died overseas, from cancer, in 2020. 

“Nicholas Alahverdian’s battle for life ended on February 29, 2020,” according to his online obituary. which states: “Mr. Alahverdian died two months after going public with his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was in his 32nd year.”

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic to discuss the developments. He says he never believed Alahverdian died. 

“We charged him with the crime because we knew he was alive,” he said on the program.

Ultimately, that led to the discovery of a hospital patient using the name Arthur Knight in Scotland, receiving treatment for COVID-19. Eventually, authorities were able to determine the patient’s true identity: Nicholas Alahverdian. 

“This man in Scotland was a registered sex offender in Ohio, so the database had his DNA,” Leavitt said. “Authorities here in Utah knew where he was to begin with; we just were looking for the opportunity and the means to be able to get him. We’ll have to demonstrate the DNA proof in the extradition process, presumably in Scotland.”

Also, Leavitt said Scottish hospital staff verified Alahverdian’s identity by comparing their patient to a photo of the suspect submitted by investigators.

Re-arrested, likely to be extradited 

Thursday, Leavitt confirmed Alahverdian’s re-arrest in Scotland. He is scheduled to appear in court there on Friday. 

“We again express our gratitude to the law enforcement agencies for their diligent efforts in this matter to bring this individual to justice. We do not comment on extradition proceedings or on the details of the work done in the course of this ongoing investigation,” said Leavitt in a statement released to KSL.

The office continues to look for more potential victims. 

“Any person who may be a victim of a crime by Mr. Rossi is encouraged to reach out to SAKI Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation, or the Utah County Attorney’s Office,” the office stated.

The Utah State Bureau of Investigation can be contacted at 801-965-4747, and the Utah County Attorney’s Office at 801-851-8026. 

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

two trainees training in response to school schootings....
Curt Gresseth

Security expert talks about being prepared amid school shootings

A retired police officer who is now director of training for a Salt Lake City security company talks about being prepared to stop school shootings.
21 hours ago
Many Utah high schools plan large outdoor events for graduation this year. Photo: Canva...
Curt Gresseth

Are flower leis inappropriate for high school graduation ceremonies?

A member of the KSL Community Board says leis are an important symbol of passage for high school graduates of Pacific Islander and Hawaiian heritage and should be permitted for graduation ceremonies in Utah.
3 days ago
Curt Gresseth

Fiery, smoky summer ahead. Do your part to prevent wildfires from starting.

Experts in wildfires say Utah could be in for a smoky summer. So tie up your trailer chains and check the tread on your tires!
4 days ago
be ready utah...
Curt Gresseth

Are you ready when an emergency strikes at work?

Two professionals give insight and advice on being ready for an emergency while at work.
9 days ago
Las Vegas pushes to become first to ban ornamental grass...
Curt Gresseth

Fight the drought, install artificial turf. Landscape expert shares advice.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s ongoing, historic drought and water restrictions in your city have turned your green lawn yellow. You’ve contemplated planting native grasses and shrubs, but you want a covering you can walk and play on. Why not install artificial turf?  Landscape expert Bill Holland joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic […]
10 days ago
buffalo shooter...
Becky Bruce and Mark Jones

Former U.S. Attorney says shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict

Shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict, says John Huber, former U.S. District Attorney for the District of Utah.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
Accused rapist who faked death re-arrested in Scotland, prosecutor says