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US fugitive wanted by the FBI on rape charges disguised himself as an eccentric English professor, and his neighbors admit they were totally fooled

Insider
Insider
 2022-01-23

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University of Glasgow
  • Nicholas Rossi, a wanted sex offender, hid out in Scotland and was only discovered when he needed COVID-19 treatment.
  • He had faked his death from cancer in 2020 in Rhode Island.
  • Rossi, who used the alias name Arthur Knight, disguised himself as an eccentric English professor.

An American man who faked his death and fled to Scotland to hide from the FBI had disguised himself as an English University professor, The Times has revealed.

Nicholas Rossi, 34, who was known in Scotland as Arthur Knight, and has numerous aliases including Nicholas Alahverdian, was wanted by the FBI on a charge of rape but was thought to be dead until December 2021, when he went for treatment for severe COVID-19 at Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth university hospital.

When he was found in a hospital bed, he was arrested, then released on bail. He was arrested again on January 22 amid concerns he may be a flight risk.

He is set to be extradited back to the USA.

His neighbors told The Times that he lived in a flat close to Glasgow University where he claimed to work.

They knew him as an eccentric, friendly academic with a formal English accent who frequently wore suits and a Panama hat to the bars where he would drink whiskey and go on political rants about Brexit.

Michael, who lives near the flat occupied by Rossi until yesterday, said he was an unmistakable figure.

"For someone who was on the run, he really liked to draw attention to himself," one of his neighbors told The Times.

"He never slipped up and always spoke with an English accent but would occasionally stammer. We had no inkling that he was American, and certainly no idea that he was a fugitive from justice. He fooled everybody and we were all shocked and horrified when we learned who he really was." they added.

Rossi was taken from the flat on January 20, with Police Scotland saying, "officers arrested a 34-year-old man in the Woodlands area of Glasgow on Thursday 20 January 2022 in connection with an arrest warrant."

Rossi, who had worked as a children's welfare campaigner in Rhode Island, Sky News reported, was wanted on a charge of rape in Utah in 2008 and an attack in Ohio in 2018.

The Utah rape charge came as part of a review of historical sex assault cases where DNA evidence kits had not been tested, reported the Guardian.

It was widely reported that Rossi, who goes by multiple aliases including Nicholas Alahverdian and Nicholas Alahverdian Rossi, died in 2020 from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and was cremated – two months after a rape allegation was filed against him.

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