Ottawa

Former SCTV star's trial begins after 2-year wait in jail

Troubled SCTV and Saturday Night Live alumnus Tony Rosato was led into court wearing shackles and handcuffs Tuesday as he complained that his rights have been violated by the two years he's already spent behind bars.

Troubled SCTV and Saturday Night Live alumnus Tony Rosato was led into court wearing shackles and handcuffs Tuesday as he complained that his rights have been violated by the two years he's already spent behind bars.

The 52-year-old actor and comedian was in court in Kingston, Ont., for the first day of his long-awaited trial on a charge of criminally harassing his wife.

"I'm very concerned about the time I spent here without bail," Rosato said as he was led into the courtroom.

"I felt that bail should have been given to me a long time ago, and I felt my human rights were being violated."

Rosato's lawyer, Daniel Brodsky, said his client was arrested after he repeatedly complained to police that his wife and daughter had vanished and been replaced by impostors.

That's a central symptom of a mental condition known as Capgras's syndrome, with which Brodsky says Rosato has been diagnosed.

As the trial got underway Tuesday, Brodsky argued that the proceedings should be held in Toronto, where the alleged harassment took place.

Twice during the proceedings, Rosato raised his hand to get his lawyer's attention.

"I don't understand why I'm here," he said both times.

After several minutes of arguments by Brodsky, Justice Gordon Thomson allowed a 30-minute break so Rosato could speak with his lawyer.

When they returned, Thomson chastised them for trying to delay the proceedings.

"I've got some news for you," he said. "This trial is going to go ahead, and it's going to go ahead today."