Rape suspect Nicholas Rossi stirred up confusion during his first court appearance since being extradited to the US to face assault charges.
Rossi, whose real name is Nicholas Alahverdian, fled after being named as a suspect in a 2008 case. He allegedly faked his own death before he was arrested in Glasgow.
The 36-year-old appeared at a virtual hearing Tuesday, his first since being extradited earlier this month.
He spoke in a British accent throughout the hearing and sported an oxygen mask that made it difficult to understand what he was saying.
Nicholas Rossi, whose real name is Nicholas Alahverdian, made his first court appearance since his extradition to the United States earlier this month
The 36-year-old, pictured in a mugshot from a 2010 arrest, fled to Scotland after being identified as a suspect in a 2008 rape case
During Tuesday’s hearing, Rossi wore an oxygen mask and spoke in a British accent, as he has done at previous court appearances overseas
When Judge Kimberly Hornak asked if he was Nicholas Rossi, the man gave a garbled response.
‘I think I’m going to have to have the jail restate what he said,’ Hornak said.
Rossi identified himself as Arthur Knight Brown, the name under which he lived after fleeing the country.
Hornak was then informed that Rossi had not given his real name or birthdate and had been extradited to Utah.
‘Objection, m’lady!’ Rossi said. ‘That is complete hearsay and I would ask that your ladyship and prosecution show cause for why I am -‘
As Rossi continued talking, Hornak arranged a detention hearing for January 26 and ordered the 36-year-old not to have any contact with the alleged victim.
‘Mr. Knight, we’re finished,’ the judge said.
Rossi is charged with sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman in Orem, Utah, nearly 16 years ago.
He was identified as a suspect about a decade later due to a backlog of DNA test kits at the Utah State Crime Lab.
The 36-year-old identified himself as Arthur Knight Brown, the name under which he is accused of living after fleeing the U.S.
He faces charges related to the sexual assault of a woman in Orem, Utah, nearly 16 years ago. Rossi faces another felony rape charge in Salt Lake County and multiple other complaints
The fugitive has insisted for years that he is actually an Irish orphan and was framed by authorities who took his fingerprints while he lay in a coma
In 2019, Rossi claimed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is accused of faking his death a year later (pictured in 2008 in Utah)
The 36-year-old was booked into the Davis County Jail on January 5.
Rossi, who has used at least 10 aliases, faces another felony rape charge in Salt Lake County, where prosecutors allege he assaulted an ex-girlfriend following an argument.
He faces multiple other complaints in Rhode Island and Ohio for alleged domestic violence, sexual abuse and fraud.
For years, the fugitive has insisted that he is actually an Irish orphan and was framed by authorities who took his fingerprints while he lay in a coma.
He also claimed that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in late 2019.
An online obituary appeared the following year saying his ashes had been scattered at sea.
Under the moniker Arthur Brown, Rossi is believed to have met his wife Miranda Knight in Bristol in 2019 and married her in early 2020, assuming her surname.
The couple moved to Glasgow shortly afterwards but in 2021, Rossi became so ill with Covid that was admitted to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
Rossi, pictured in July 2022, was admitted to a Glasgow hospital in 2021 after falling ill with Covid
After he was identified by medical staff and authorities, the 36-year-old was arrested that year. In September, Scottish ministers signed an order giving permission for him to be extradited
But this proved to be his undoing, as medical staff and authorities deduced his real identity after comparing his tattoos with pictures from an Interpol Red Notice.
He was arrested in December of that year, and in September 2023, Scottish ministers signed an order giving permission for Rossi to be extradited.
Speaking to Dailymail.com last year, Rossi’s stepfather David described the 36-year-old as ‘the devil’s spawn.’
He said his estranged stepson was an ‘evil’ child who punched his mother and grandmother.
Rossi ‘just got worse with every day,’ David said.
‘He’ll do anything to hide from the law,’ he added. ‘The wheelchair, the mask….There’s nothing wrong with him.’