Crime Rhode Island man who faked his own death to avoid 2008 sexual assault charges found alive in Scotland: officials

21:12  13 january  2022
21:12  13 january  2022 Source:   nydailynews.com

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An online obituary includes Nicholas Alahverdian’s last words: “Fear not and run toward the bliss of the sun.”

Alahverdian, 34, died on Feb. 29, 2020 with his wife, two children and extended family by his side, just two months after revealing his non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis, according to the obituary.

He spent decades in Rhode Island fighting against abusive Department of Children Youth and Families practices after being sexually abused in their custody as a child. He was a painter, author, amateur ornithologist, political scientist, sociologist, accomplished orator, and child welfare reform advocate. His death was publicly mourned by state senators, mayors and reporters.

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After his death, his ashes were scattered at sea.

Except, officials said Wednesday, Alahverdian didn’t die at all.

Instead, the man, who also went by Nicholas Rossi, faked both his cancer and his death and fled the country to escape charges stemming from a 2008 sexual assault, according to the Utah County Attorney’s Office.

Nicholas Alahverdian © Handout Nicholas Alahverdian

Nicholas Alahverdian (Handout/)

Alahverdian was convicted of sexually assaulting a fellow student at Sinclair Community College in Ohio in 2008, but the DNA evidence wasn’t entered into a national database until 2017, the attorney’s office said in a statement. That’s when he came back as a match for another sexual assault case in Ohio.

Officials eventually filed charges, but quickly discovered that the man they were chasing had died.

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Then Alahverdian showed up in Scotland last month, placed on a ventilator while suffering from COVID-19, Rhode Island State Police Major Rober Creamer told the Providence Journal Wednesday.

He’d been living in Scotland under another alias, according to the Utah County Attorney’s Office, presumably since faking his death almost two years earlier.

“Our office is grateful for the significant interagency collaboration of law enforcement to bring this suspect to justice,” Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said in a statement

“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.”

Alahverdian was taken into custody in Scotland and is now awaiting extradition back to Utah.

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usr: 1
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