'That's Nick': Woman assaulted by Nicholas Rossi claims he is Arthur Knight
ITV News' Scotland Reporter Louise Scott brings us the latest on a court hearing which aims to determine the identity of a man believed by US authorities to be alleged rapist who faked his own death and fled to Scotland.
A woman who was sexually assaulted by a man US authorities believe to be an alleged rapist who faked his own death and fled to Scotland has spoken out.
Speaking to ITV News, Mary said that she believes a man who claims to be called Arthur Knight is actually Nicholas Rossi. Rossi is wanted for raping a 21-year-old in Utah, and for attacks on other women.
Mary is allowing us to show her identity for the first time. Rossi was found guilty of assaulting Mary in Ohio in 2008.
On Monday, a court hearing got underway to determine the 35-year-old's identity at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
The man, who claims to be called Arthur Knight, has been fighting an extradition hearing by US authorities since he was arrested in December 2021.
Mary described Rossi as "evil" and "manipulative" adding he "will go to any lengths to get what he wants".
After being shown footage of the man claiming to be Arthur Knight, while speaking in his Glasgow home earlier this year, she told ITV News: "That’s Nick, the dark hair, the dark glasses and his hair part up here is the same in both of them."
During Monday's session, a document with the fingerprints of the man claiming to be Mr Knight, taken at Saughton Prison in Edinburgh this year, were shown to the court.
An Interpol red notice document for Rossi’s arrest was also shown at the hearing.
Lisa Davidson, a Tenprint Identification Officer who has worked in fingerprint identification for 22 years, was asked by advocate depute Paul Harvey what her conclusion was when she compared the fingerprints on the two documents.
She replied: "I found that they were identical. The fingerprints were identical. All 10 prints were identical."
Ms Davidson was then asked to compare the man’s fingerprints with those of the wanted man Rossi’s on an extradition request, also shown before the court.
She said the quality of the fingerprints on the extradition request was bad, but said she was able to confirm the left forefinger and thumb were the same as the man’s.
The court heard the man was arrested on October 13 last year, while being cared for at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow, after developing respiratory problems from contracting Covid.
Charge nurse Ruth Keating, 58, who was on duty at the time, was called to give evidence at the hearing on Monday.
She told the court she cared for a patient called Arthur Knight.
She was presented with the same Interpol red notice document featuring images of Rossi, but was asked by Mr Harvey to focus on photos of his arms, which featured tattoos.
Addressing one particular photo showing a tattoo of a red cross above an angel wing, Ms Keating replied: "That looks like the tattoo I saw on Arthur Knight."
When Mr Harvey asked the witness if she could identify Arthur Knight in the court room, Ms Keating pointed to the man.
Dr Robert Hart, 36, an intensive care consultant who treated Rossi, also recognised the photos shown to him by police as patient Arthur Knight.
He said the tattoos he saw on the patient were a "match" to those shown in the wanted man’s photos.
The witness told the court the tattoos were "discoloured", and "the skin around the tattoos was fairly warped".
Mr Harvey put it to Dr Hart if he had seen similar skin on patients who had tattoos removed, to which he replied: "I am no expert in that."
The two police officers who arrested the man at QEUH, PC Shannon McGill and PC Jamie Crombie, who were also called to give evidence, said the man’s tattoos matched those in the document.
Detective Constable Lorn Gibson, 46, and Detective Constable Zahra Pirmohamed, 52, from Police Scotland’s extradition unit based at the Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh, were also called to give evidence and confirmed how they fingerprinted the man at Saughton on July 15 this year.
The man arrived for the start of Monday's case in a wheelchair chained to custody officers, who were walking closely behind him.
Dressed in a navy pinstripe suit, he wheeled himself into the court building without saying a word.
Asked at the beginning of the hearing if he was Nicholas Rossi or Arthur Knight, he replied: "Arthur Knight."
His lawyer, Mungo Bovey KC, proceeded to tell the court of multiple issues concerning legal proceedings with regard to his client and requested the case be adjourned.
One of these included complaints that some information from a solicitor for the man "seems to be misconstrued by the sheriff".
He also told the court there were legal concerns over the way the warrant for the man’s arrest was issued, and claims his client did not receive the provisional arrest certificate (PAC) after his arrest in December.
But Sheriff Norman McFadyen rejected the request for adjournment and proceeding with the identification hearing.
The case continues on Tuesday.