Utah prosecutor: 'It could take months' to extradite Alahverdian, who made bail in Scotland

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Wherever Nicholas Alahverdian went, he left a trail of victimized women, a Utah prosecutor said Friday.

“He had victims in Utah, in Ohio, in Rhode Island and in Massachusetts,” County Attorney David Leavitt told The Journal. “And if he is as aggressive as everything appears to be toward women, there are likely victims in the United Kingdom.”

That’s where Alahverdian, 34, was hiding after faking his death in February 2020 to avoid, authorities say, a Utah rape charge, a fraud complaint in Ohio, and other sex assault allegations.

“And if there are victims in the United Kingdom,” said Leavitt, “it’s my guess he may never leave the United Kingdom” if he’s prosecuted there.

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Alahverdian, once a familiar Rhode Island child welfare activist, and a convicted sex offender, for a time fooled the lawmakers and media members he cozied up to with the story of his demise. He even eluded the law. But he couldn’t elude COVID-19, which forced him to seek help in a Glasgow, Scotland, hospital where Interpol caught up to him last month, matching his identity through photographs.

At the time, Alahverdian was using a rather appropriate Scottish alias: Arthur Knight.

The Scottish Sun reported Friday that Alahverdian had been granted bail after leaving the hospital with conditions that he abide by a nighttime curfew and that the police check on him daily.

Utah County Attorney David O. Leavitt
Utah County Attorney David O. Leavitt

Leavitt said he had heard Alahverdian may be home, but “We have to have confidence with our Scottish authorities to know what the circumstances are on the ground. I think from everyone’s estimate,” Alahverdian “is a flight risk. We also know he is a danger to society. But we are also not in Scotland and we don’t know what the realities of the situation are.”

Leavitt said he fully expected Alahverdian to fight extradition back to the United States; Alahverdian told an FBI agent who managed to call him in late in 2019 that he was living in Ireland because the country had no extradition treaty with the United States.

But Leavitt said Alahverdian’s strategy may fail if he entered the United Kingdom fraudulently.

“We presume he’s not in the country legally, because we presume, he used a fake name to get in there. And so, the question will be whether the British authorities kick him out because he entered on false pretenses.”

With so many uncertainties at the moment, “there really is no timeline. It could be a number of months or longer” before Alahverdian returns to the United States.

And there is also this reality, he said: “There could be rape victims in Scotland. I don’t have any evidence of that. I’m just saying everywhere this man has gone he has victims.”

Leavitt said that since news of Alahverdian’s capture, at least two other women have come forward with allegations they were sexually assaulted by him.

“I believe there are other victims than those still identified and hopefully this coverage will give them the confidence and the courage to contact us."

Alahverdian’s former foster mother in Ohio told The Journal last January that Alahverdian had, in 2016, fraudulently obtained 22 credit cards and loans under her husband’s name and ran up debts of $200,000.

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Leavitt said, “He was indicted in Ohio for defrauding some people and we believe that was what sent him overseas. And we believe that’s what prompted him to fake his death [with] someone who was working in concert with him, who either was his wife or posed as his wife.”

Utah authorities have also charged Alahverdian with raping a woman whom he had been dating for a short time in September 2008.

According to released court documents, the woman said she met him three months earlier on MySpace and then about two weeks later in person. She told police she ended the relationship because Alahverdian was getting “more rough” with her when having sex and because he owed her money.

On Sept. 13, 2008, the woman said Alahverdian invited her over to where he was living, telling her he would repay the money he owed her.

Instead, while they were talking, the court record says, Alahverdian unzipped his pants, exposed himself, pushed her onto the couch and proceeded to rape her. Afterward Alahverdian “told her this was her fault because she is 'mentally unstable and too emotional to deal with.'”

Just four months earlier Alahverdian had been found guilty of sexually assaulting a fellow student in a stairwell at Sinclair Community College, in Dayton, Ohio. The woman, who had just met him an hour earlier over lunch, said he groped her and exposed himself.

Alahverdian, then using the last name Rossi, was found guilty of one count of “sexual imposition” and one count of public indecency, court records show.

Email Tom Mooney at: tmooney@providencejournal.com

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Out on bail: Alahverdian's extradition from Scotland may take months

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