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Man who faked death to escape rape charge found hospitalized with COVID in Scotland

A Rhode Island man who allegedly fled the United States and faked his own death to escape prosecution for rape and financial fraud has been arrested in Scotland after being hospitalized with COVID-19, authorities have announced.

Nicholas Alahverdian, 34, who strongly criticized Rhode Island child welfare after he said he was sexually abused in the state’s foster care system, is now at risk of being extradited to the United States to do facing a rape charge in Utah.

Alahverdian was discovered after developing a severe case of coronavirus and placed on a ventilator in a Glasgow hospital, Rhode Island State Police Maj. Robert Creamer told the Providence Journal this week.

Hospital staff verified his identity by matching their patient to a photo of Alahverdian submitted by investigators, Utah County District Attorney David Leavitt’s office said, declining to provide details.

Alahverdian, who lived abroad under the assumed name of Arthur Knight and used other aliases, was arrested on December 13 by Scottish authorities. Leavitt said Friday his office provided information to foreign authorities regarding Alahverdian’s flight risk as the court weighed his bail. A representative for Alahverdian could not be located for comment.

Court documents unsealed in Utah on Thursday show Alahverdian met a 21-year-old woman on MySpace in 2008 when he lived in Orem, Utah, and went by the name Nicholas Rossi.

The woman said she ended the relationship, but Alahverdian owed her money, promised to pay her back, and sexually assaulted her in her apartment.

Leavitt’s office said DNA evidence collected at the time was not tested until 2017 as part of a state effort to eliminate pending rape kits. The evidence came back as a match to a sexual assault case in Ohio.

Alahverdian had been convicted in 2008 of two sex-related charges after an encounter with a classmate at Sinclair Community College in Dayton. Rhode Island State Police said Alahverdian is also wanted in their state for not registering as a sex offender.

The FBI said he was also wanted in Ohio for taking out credit cards in his adoptive father’s name and racking up more than $200,000 in debt.

Leavitt’s office had no comment Friday when asked if Alahverdian would also be charged with faking his death or evading arrest. Authorities noted he had been in contact with FBI officials in Ohio by phone and email as recently as December 2019, saying he was living in Ireland because of its extradition policies. .

It is unclear whether Alahverdian has a lawyer; an email seeking comment was sent to the Alahverdian Family Office, which had sent notice in 2020 regarding his funeral and memorial service at a church in Providence, Rhode Island.

Alahverdian had for years been a vocal critic of Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth and Families, testifying before state lawmakers about being sexually abused and tortured while at home. reception.

In 2020, he told local media he had advanced non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and had weeks to live, The Journal reported.

An obituary posted online claimed he died on February 29, 2020, but last year Rhode Island State Police, Alahverdian’s former attorney and former foster family publicly doubted whether his death.




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