PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Rhode Island man who authorities say faked his own death to escape a sex assault case in another state was a no-show at a hearing in Scotland after he had been granted bail. He was arrested again later in the day.
Nicholas Alahverdian – who is known to police in Scotland as Arthur Knight – was scheduled to appear in Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, but didn’t according to an official at the court there.
“He did not attend at court today after being given bail and now the police are seeking his arrest to detain him,” Michelle Baillie, criminal office manager at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, said in an email to Target 12.
A spokesperson for the Utah County Attorney – where Alahverdian is wanted on a rape charge – said they were informed of the no-show. Sherrie Hall Everett said in an email they were later informed “he was apprehended at the Scotland address and is due to appear at court tomorrow.”
Baillie said Alahverdian told authorities he failed to appear because he was “feeling unwell,” and was released from custody. He will telephone into Friday’s court hearing, she said.
Alahverdian, 34, was granted bail last week after he was arrested at Glasgow Hospital where he was being treated for COVID-19. News reports from the United Kingdom say the court set conditions on his release including a curfew and regular checks by law enforcement.
Alahverdian is facing one count of rape in Utah where authorities say he sexually assaulted a woman in 2008. At the time he was going by the name Nicholas Rossi, one of the many aliases the police say Alahverdian has used over the years.
He is also facing fraud charges in Ohio and has been named the suspect in several sexual assault cases in that state, as well as in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Police records show he was charged with domestic assault after he was accused of hitting a woman at his Pawtucket apartment in November 2010. Police said he was screaming loudly and hitting his head against the bars of the cruiser when he was detained.
He was arrested a month later on an outstanding warrant, according to police records, then again five months after that for violating a protective order.
“We again express our gratitude to the law enforcement agencies for their diligent efforts in this matter to bring this individual to justice,” Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said in an email. “We do not comment on extradition proceedings or on the details of the work done in the course of this ongoing investigation.”
Alahverdian vanished in 2020, shortly after an arrest warrant in Utah was issued.
Earlier that year, a woman claiming to be Alahverdian’s wife called 12 News and other media outlets, saying the then-32-year-old had died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. (12 News did not publish the obituary after being unable to verify the claim.)
The court documents show the FBI believed the fugitive was in Ireland in 2019, but it wasn’t until two years later that COVID-19 ultimately led to his capture.
Leavitt said Alahverdian was being treated for the virus at a hospital in Scotland. It is unclear what prompted authorities to connect with hospital staff, but officials in the U.S. eventually sent a picture of the wanted man, and the hospital said it was a match.
“He’s gone through great lengths to hide his whereabouts,” Leavitt said. “He has gone through great lengths to get out of the hospital in Scotland so far as even trying to hire a private ambulance to be able to get away.”
Pending his re-arrest in Scotland, Baille said Alahverdian has another court date for Jan. 27.