Suspect in 2008 sexual assault in Utah arrested in Scotland

File photo: Pixabay

UTAH COUNTY, Jan. 12, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A man suspected in a 2008 sexual assault in Utah County has been arrested in Scotland after evidence linking him to the crime was discovered as the result of an initiative to process backlogged evidence kits.

Arrested in the case was Nicholas Rossi, whose aliases include Nicholas Alahverdian, Nicholas Alahverdian Rossi, Nicholas Edward Rossi, Nicholas Alahverdian-Rossi, Nick Alan, Nicholas Brown, Arthur Brown and Arthur Knight.

In 2020, the Utah County Attorney’s Office worked in coordination with the Utah Department of Public Safety — State Bureau of Investigation’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative unit to establish a multi-disciplinary team to review old sexual assault cases where the original sexual assault kits had not been tested, says a Department of Public Safety statement issued Wednesday.

One of the cases involved the 2008 Utah case in which Rossi was the suspect. That case was closed by the lead detective without referring the case to the Utah County Attorney’s Office for screening, the Utah DPS statement says.

“In 2017, as part of the Sex Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) the original sexual assault kit was submitted for testing, and in 2018 the DNA profile from the Utah sexual assault came back as a match to a sexual assault case in Ohio. The suspect, in that case, was Nicholas Rossi.

“Agents with the Utah Department of Public Safety worked with the original investigating agency and the Utah County Attorney’s Office to locate the victim and, based on the evidence and the victim’s willingness to move forward with prosecution, charges were filed.”

Investigators learned Rossi had fled the country to avoid prosecution in Ohio and had attempted to lead investigators and state legislators in other states to believe that he was deceased, the statement says

“Through the diligent efforts of SBI Agents, and various investigators in other states and agencies, and in cooperation with the Utah County Attorney’s Office, Mr. Rossi was discovered to be living under an assumed name in Scotland.

“He has been taken into custody and the Utah County Attorney’s Office is working with federal and international agencies to extradite Mr. Rossi back to Utah.”

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said he is grateful for the help of multiple agencies that collaborated to bring the outcome, and for the initiative.

“We credit Utah’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant funded through the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Assistance as playing a significant role in testing backlogged kits and ultimately identifying the suspect,” he said.

Throughout this investigation, SBI Agents discovered that Nicholas Rossi was a suspect in a number of similar offenses in Utah and throughout the United States after the 2008 incident.

Any person who may be a victim of a crime by Rossi is encouraged to reach out to SAKI Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation at 801-965-4747 or the Utah County Attorney’s Office at 801- 851-8026.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here