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Conviction in 'cannibal cop' case overturned

Judge Overturns Conviction In 'Cannibal Cop' Case

NEW YORK (AP) -- A former New York Police Department officer was set to leave jail on Tuesday after a judge overturned his conviction in a bizarre case accusing him of plotting to kidnap, kill and eat young women.

Judge Paul Gardephe ruled late Monday that there was insufficient evidence to support a jury's guilty verdict in the kidnapping conspiracy conviction of Gilberto Valle. His lawyers had argued that the alleged plots were really fantasy online role play that never put anyone in harm's way.

Valle - dubbed by the tabloids as the "Cannibal Cop" - smiled at his family and hugged his lawyers in court on Tuesday. The judge set bail at $100,000 and ordered home detention for the defendant after prosecutors told him they intended to appeal his ruling.

"The government believes the jury got it right," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Hadassa Waxman.

Valle was convicted in March 2013 on the conspiracy charge - which carries a possible life term - and a misdemeanor count of illegally accessing a law enforcement database. He was expected to be released from jail later Tuesday and stay on home detention until he's sentenced.

Valle, 40, "is guilty of nothing more than very unconventional thoughts," one of his attorneys, Julia Gatto, said outside court. "We don't put people in jail for their thoughts. We are not the thought police."

A jury had concluded he wasn't just fantasizing when he conversed online with others he had never met about killing and cooking his wife and others in a cannibalism plot.

In his 118-page opinion, Gardephe said: "The evidentiary record is such that it is more likely than not the case that all of Valle's Internet communications about kidnapping are fantasy role-play."

Prosecutors had argued that Valle took steps to carry out his plot, including looking up potential targets on a restricted law enforcement database; searching the Internet for how to knock someone out with chloroform and where to get torture devices and other tools.

In one of the numerous online conversations shown to the jury during the trial, Valle told a man he met in a fetish chat room, "I want her to experience being cooked alive. She'll be trussed up like a turkey. ... She'll be terrified, screaming and crying."

In another exchange, Valle suggested a woman he knew would be easy prey because she lived alone. The men discussed cooking her, basted in olive oil, over an open fire and using her severed head as a centerpiece for a sit-down meal.

Valle was fired after his conviction.

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dickn2000b July 01 2014 at 2:30 PM

I guess now justice will have to wait until this pervert kills and eats some hapless woman.

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3 replies
katkelly57 July 01 2014 at 2:30 PM

After reading this, my goosebumps have goosebumps.

Be it real or role playing....absolutely frightening.

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3 replies
Steve-a-rino July 01 2014 at 3:16 PM

Too bad we can't say what we want, free of government intrusion.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
3 replies
bobryanc July 01 2014 at 2:13 PM

How did this guy not get convicted? If anything, he should be locked up forever in an insane asylum. Well, when young women start being eaten around the new york area, at least we'll know who to did it.

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2 replies
Peter bobryanc July 01 2014 at 7:51 PM

he did not do anything

Flag Reply 0 rate up
orion15stars bobryanc July 02 2014 at 3:11 AM

He was convicted. A trial judge overturned the jury's verdict which is highly unusual. Any overturning of a jury conviction is typically done by an appeals court if done at all.

There is nothing detailed on with whom on the Internet Valle was conspiring to commit serial killing cannibalism. His own Internet conversations with another party proved conspiracy.

Conspiracy is two or more people plotting to commit any crime, which may or may not be carried out as plotted. Conspiracy is a criminal felony.

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propickup July 01 2014 at 2:43 PM

lock him up. he has a problem. one day he will do something horrible, he should not be released on the public. He is a danger, period. he better not get his job back. I don't want him on the streets. if he does get back on the force I will never stop for a cop. I would not know if it was him or not.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
Peter propickup July 01 2014 at 7:49 PM

maybe we put you on the menu

Flag Reply 0 rate up
lichwala July 01 2014 at 2:22 PM

It's bizarre but if he didn't commit a crime how can he be convicted. He may have talked bizarre and looked up bizarre stuff, but being bizarre is not illegal.

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4 replies
LONNIE July 01 2014 at 2:58 PM

I agree with dickn, maybe they will wait til he eats a couple people so they can be sure he is guilty

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
Franco LONNIE July 01 2014 at 11:14 PM

Have you never eaten your hat after losing a bet?

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dollibug July 01 2014 at 3:27 PM

There are many wicked and evil people in the world....there are *insane* people as well.....BUT people should NOT be charged unless there is actual *evidence* of the accused committing one. People lie, cheat and steal all the time....and these people seem to get by and then there are people who *think evil thoughts and get caught*....we live in a very strange world.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
3 replies
TripleXKimberly July 01 2014 at 5:28 PM

I know Role Play and Fetish likes and dislikes and this goes beyond! He is sick and I have a gut feeling we will be hearing more about him in the future. I sure hope I am wrong!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Mike July 01 2014 at 2:17 PM

I bet he celebrates with a big juicy chunk of meat...

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
Peter Mike July 01 2014 at 7:51 PM

goat is good

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