Man who faked his death to avoid rape charges may be compelled to attend court
A man who was extradited from Scotland to the United States after faking his death to evade rape charges could be forced to appear in court, according to a recent ruling by a judge. Nicholas Rossi, who has already refused to attend two court hearings in Utah, now faces the possibility of being compelled to appear.
The 36-year-old, who spent over two years fighting the case under the identity of an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight, has been charged with rape. The judge has set a new court date for March 8th and has granted an order to use reasonable force to ensure Rossi’s attendance.
During a recent hearing, Rossi’s lawyer, Sam Duggan, stated that she was unaware of the reason behind his refusal to appear. She did, however, mention that he suffers from “a variety of fairly serious medical issues.” Duggan also revealed that she is not fully familiar with Rossi’s backstory, but confirmed that he goes by the name Arthur Knight.
Representatives from the state requested the judge to issue an order allowing the use of reasonable force to ensure Rossi’s presence in court. The judge agreed to this request, but stated that the order could be withdrawn if his lawyer provides a valid reason for its removal.
This recent development follows a separate hearing in Utah’s Fourth District Court, where Rossi is facing another rape allegation. Judge Derek Pullan set a new court date for February 6th and also stated that he would authorize the use of reasonable force to compel Rossi’s attendance if he is not genuinely ill.
Rossi was arrested in December 2021 under an international arrest warrant, after being hospitalized in Glasgow with Covid-19. He initially claimed mistaken identity and insisted that his name was Arthur Knight. However, a sheriff in Edinburgh ruled in November 2022 that he was indeed Nicholas Rossi after confirming his tattoos and fingerprints.
Prosecutors in Utah have charged Rossi with raping a 21-year-old woman in 2008. He was only identified as a suspect a decade later due to a backlog of DNA test kits at the state’s crime lab.
During previous hearings, Rossi vehemently denied being Nicholas Rossi and claimed his name was Arthur Knight Brown.
The case continues to unfold as the court proceedings progress.