A US fugitive who allegedly faked his own death to escape rape charges in Utah is to be sent from Scotland to England for questioning about a separate sexual assault, police said on Monday.
Nicholas Rossi, 35, who was arrested last year after checking himself in to a hospital in Glasgow, western Scotland, with Covid-19, will be questioned in connection with a rape in Chelmsford, east of London, a police statement said.
“We are aware of a decision made by a Scottish court in relation to a man arrested there,” the statement said.
“We are now liaising with Scottish authorities in order to facilitate an interview with the man regarding a non-recent allegation of rape in Chelmsford which was made to us in April 2022.”
A judge in Edinburgh confirmed Rossi’s identity earlier this month after he insisted he was Arthur Knight, an orphan from Ireland who had never been to the United States.
Sheriff Norman McFadyen said he was “ultimately satisfied on the balance of probabilities” that the man who claimed to be Arthur Knight was in fact wanted fugitive Nicholas Rossi.
It is alleged he faked his own death in the United States, where he is wanted in Utah for rape and sexual assault, before fleeing to Scotland.
An Interpol red notice for Rossi’s arrest, featuring multiple headshots and his fingerprints, was shown at the three-day hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
Medical staff and police were able to identify him by comparing his tattoos with pictures of Rossi on the wanted notice and fingerprints.
The suspect claimed he had been tattooed while comatose in hospital and that his fingerprints had been meddled with.
McFadyen dismissed those claims as “implausible” and “fanciful” and said the man’s repeated name changes were “consistent with someone who was hiding from someone or something”.