Rape Suspect Accused of Faking Death Can Be Extradited to U.S., Court Rules

A rape suspect accused of faking his own death to evade American authorities on a series of sex charges can be extradited to the U.S., a Scottish court ruled Wednesday.

Nicholas Rossi, 35, claims in a bizarre story that he was detained in the U.K. in 2021 in a case of mistaken identity, and that he’s actually an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight. A separate Scottish court ruling in November dismissed his story after his tattoos and fingerprints were found to match records held by the U.K.’s National Crime Agency.

Sheriff Norman McFadyen—a local judge in Edinburgh—ruled that Rossi could be legally extradited to the U.S., but that the ultimate decision now rests with Scottish ministers. The ruling could be the end of a baffling series of hearings in Scotland lasting over 18 months in which Rossi has pushed his narrative of an innocent man being made the victim of an international conspiracy.

Rossi was arrested in December 2021 as he was receiving treatment for COVID in a Glasgow hospital. At his identification hearing last year, he claimed he had been tattooed while unconscious in the hospital in an effort to make him look like Rossi, who had been the subject of an Interpol red notice. He also claimed his fingerprints had been tampered with.

His antics continued at his extradition hearing, where he claimed that he had been brought onto the court’s videolink by “physical force” and accused the sheriff of being “a disgrace to justice,” according to Sky News. He also reportedly spoke at times with an English accent during the proceedings but would sometimes slip into an Irish accent when discussing his supposed childhood in Ireland.

The court also heard from a Scottish prison doctor who had found that there was “no medical need” to use a wheelchair, and had even found his legs to be “athletic.”

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