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'I am not Nicholas Rossi': Scottish man claims he isn't suspect accused of rape in Utah

Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 19:23:32-04

GLASGOW, Scotland — A man accused of raping a woman in Utah in 2008 before faking his death more than a decade later is speaking out.

FOX 13 News spoke over Zoom with a man who claims he is Arthur Knight. Knight was arrested in December of last year, believed to be Nicholas Rossi and Nicholas Alahverdian.

"What name do you go by?" FOX 13 News asked.

"I am Arthur Knight Brown," he responded.

Rossi was identified as a suspect in a 2008 rape case in Orem. The original sexual assault kit from that case was eventually tested in 2017. His DNA also linked him to a sexual assault case in Ohio.

In 2020, authorities say the same man, then known as Nicholas Alahverdian, died in Rhode Island from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was believed to be dead until Knight was arrested while recovering in a COVID-19 ward in a Scotland hospital.

Back home, awaiting extradition, Knight says he is on oxygen 24/7 while he continues to recover from COVID-19.

Knight says authorities have the wrong guy, claiming he has never been to Utah.

"Never once, I have never been to the United States in my life," said Knight.

Knight showed FOX 13 News several pictures and even produced a marriage certificate, showing he and his wife Miranda got married in England two years ago.

The BBC reports that in a hearing last month, a prosecutor in the United Kingdom said both police and staff at the hospital identified Knight as Rossi from his tattoos.

"Can I just show you that I don't have any tattoos at all, and also on any biceps?" said Knight.

It is a bizarre case we took to local attorney Greg Skordas.

"The question is, are you the person that's accused of committing the crime? And if that's the case, then you have to come here to challenge it," said Skordas. "You can't challenge your guilt or innocence from another country, you can only challenge your identity."

Skordas says in many cases like this, DNA is a slam dunk in proving if authorities have the right person or not.

"They can do DNA now to say it's a one in many, many million chance that you're not the right person, and those odds are so astronomical," said Skordas.

Knight also took aim at Utah County Attorney David Leavitt. He says Leavitt's allegations that Knight is in fact Rossi are false.

"There is no way that this case is going anywhere, because I am not Nicholas Rossi," said Knight.

FOX 13 News reached out to the Utah County Attorney's Office.

In a statement, County Attorney David Leavitt expressed gratitude to the law enforcement agencies for their efforts in bringing this man to justice.

As for the extradition proceedings, Leavitt says they won't comment on that since it is an ongoing investigation.