The tradgey of Tony Rosato

18 Jan

Yesterday, I heard a talk by a retired corrections officer. He told us that a large percentage of the incarcerated people he dealt with were not not criminals but suffered from mental illness. It reminded me of how poorly equipped we are to help people with psychiatric issues.

This point was made again when I read The New York Times obituary for comedian Tony Rosato. Rosato’s successful career was derailed because he suffered from Capgras syndrome, a devastating psychiatric disorder.

Mr. Rosato, who refused to acknowledge his mental illness, did not plead guilty and spent the next two years in a maximum-security facility awaiting trial.

News media reports attributed the gap between Mr. Rosato’s arrest and trial to a combination of his intractability and the punitive approach of the Canadian authorities. “Tony Rosato will have spent more time in custody on a harassment charge than any other convicted prisoner in Canada has ever spent on the same charges,” his lawyer, Daniel Brodsky, told The Toronto Star before his trial finally began in 2007. A judge found Mr. Rosato guilty of criminal harassment that September. He was remanded to a psychiatric hospital, where he was found to have Capgras syndrome, a rare mental illness characterized by the delusion that loved ones have been replaced by impostors.

One Response to “The tradgey of Tony Rosato”

  1. Kathy H January 18, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    Very Sad! We do not care for the mentally ill in our society!!

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