However, in March 2020 he announced on social media he had been diagnosed with cancer. A few weeks later his death was announced on the same accounts and lawmakers in Rossi's home state Rhode Island paid tributes to the "accomplished author and committed child welfare reform advocate."
But not everyone was fooled, and it's apparent U.S law enforcement agencies did not end their investigations. A priest in Rhode Island said he was contacted by police and told not to hold a memorial service for the presumed-deceased man.
Utah prosecutor David Leavitt confirmed the arrest was linked to several sexual assaults across the U.S. and thanked the international effort behind the suspect's apprehension.
"Our office is grateful for the significant interagency collaboration of law enforcement to bring this suspect to justice," he said in a statement.
A police chief in Rhode Island added that Rossi was on a ventilator when he was arrested, thought to be ill with COVID-19.
Rossi now faces an extradition hearing in the UK where U.S. investigators will ask to have him flown back across the Atlantic to face trial.