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Man in Scotland confirmed to be US rape suspect, Scottish court rules

<i>Jane Barlow/PA Images/Getty Images</i><br/>A man in Scotland is a rape suspect wanted in the United States
PA Images via Getty Images
Jane Barlow/PA Images/Getty Images
A man in Scotland is a rape suspect wanted in the United States

By Alex Hardie, CNN

A man in Scotland is a rape suspect wanted in the United States, a Scottish court ruled Friday, despite the man’s claims that he is not the person authorities are looking for and that he never visited the US in his life.

An Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court judge said that that the man claiming to be “Arthur Knight” among other aliases, is in fact Nicholas Rossi, whom the US is seeking extradition to face trial in Utah on a charge of rape, the ruling said.

An Interpol Red Notice — which is a request for law enforcement worldwide to provisionally arrest a person — was issued by the US for Rossi on October 4, 2021.

Rossi is wanted to stand trial for alleged felony rape charges in Utah County, according to a press release from county attorney David O. Leavitt. The alleged crimes occurred in 2008, according to a Utah Department of Public Safety press release.

That is not the only charge against him in the US. In September, Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office charged Rossi with a separate charge of felony rape stemming from a 2008 incident, according to a probable cause affidavit.

CNN has reached out to the defendant’s lawyer for comment.

Fingerprint experts compared prints provided by the US extradition request with those taken from the man claiming to be Knight and “positively identified the impressions of two fingers,” the court document said.

According to the document, the man explained the match by saying that the US obtained his fingerprints through a health service worker when he was hospitalized last year — a claim that Sheriff Norman McFadyen dismissed as “unsupported by any evidence,” “scandalous,” and “implausible and fanciful.”

McFadyen wrote that he also compared photos of tattoos provided by the US extradition request with witness descriptions of the man’s tattoos, concluding that “there is powerful evidence of similarity of quite distinctive tattoos being seen on Mr Knight which resemble in detail the distinctive tattoos on the photographs of Nicholas Rossie.”

According to the court document, the man claiming to be Knight said he had been tattooed while in a coma in the hospital — an explanation also rejected by McFadyen as “implausible and fanciful.”

McFadyen heard testimony from two intensive care staff at a Glasgow hospital where the man was treated for serious Covid-19 complications last year, the court document said. He also heard testimony from a police constable, detective constables, a registrar, a doctor, the man in question and his wife, Miranda Knight.

“Mr. Knight is indeed Nicholas Rossie [sic], the person sought for extradition by the United States,” said McFadyen in his conclusion, noting that he would have been prepared to accept the fingerprint match alone as sufficient evidence.

The decision did not issue any kind of conclusion as to whether Rossi should be extradited or whether he is guilty of the US allegations.

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