CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Man accused of faking death, fleeing country to avoid rape charges makes court appearance in Utah

Jan 16, 2024, 4:27 PM | Updated: 4:28 pm

Nicholas Rossi from he U.S. waves as he leaves the Edinburgh Sheriff and Justice of the Peace Court...

Nicholas Rossi from he U.S. waves as he leaves the Edinburgh Sheriff and Justice of the Peace Court in Edinburgh, Scotland, Wednesday, July 12, 2023. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)

(Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Nicholas Rossi, a man accused of faking his death and fleeing to Scotland to avoid charges involving sex crimes in multiple states, faced his first court appearance Tuesday.

Rossi, whose legal name is Nicholas Alahverdian, returned to Utah this month after being extradited from Scotland. Rossi faces charges in Utah County in a 2008 rape. He also faces charges in Davis County and has a sexual assault conviction out of Ohio.

Back in Utah

A Utah County Judge asked him if he was Nicholas Rossi at his court appearance Tuesday.

Rossi responded unintelligibly.

His response was hard to make out because, throughout the entire hearing, the man identified as Rossi wore some kind of oxygen mask over his nose and mouth.

“I think I’m going to have to have the jail restate what he said,” the judge said.

He had told the judge his name was Arthur Knight.

Authorities said Rossi was living under the name Arthur Knight when authorities arrested him in Scotland in 2021.

The judge referred to him by that name for the rest of the hearing and proceeded to set a detention hearing for later this month.

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Man accused of faking death, fleeing country to avoid rape charges makes court appearance in Utah