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NYC policeman convicted in cannibal-plot case

By Larry Neumeister

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:40 a.m. HST, Mar 12, 2013

NEW YORK » A New York City police officer was convicted today of charges he plotted to kidnap and cook women to dine on their "girl meat" — a macabre case that subjected jurors to often gory evidence and asked them to separate fantasy from reality.

The jury reached the verdict in federal court at the kidnapping conspiracy trial of Officer Gilberto Valle, a 28-year-old father with an admitted fetish for talking on the Internet about cannibalism.

Valle's lawyers at what the tabloids dubbed the "Cannibal Cop" trial chose not to hide what they called his "weird proclivities." But they insisted that he was just fantasizing and noted that none of the women were ever harmed.

Valle bowed his head and looked teary-eyed when the verdict was announced. He hugged his lawyer, Julia Gatto, who said later that she had been crying.

"It's a devastating verdict for us. We poured our hearts and souls into this," said Gatto.

"The jury was unable to get past the thoughts," Gatto said. "Obviously, the case involved thoughts that were unusual and bizarre and frankly very ugly."

Valle's mother, Elizabeth, shook her head as the verdict was rendered.

"I'm in shock and want to be left alone," she said after her son was led away. She said to herself as she sat on a court bench alone: "This is going to kill my mother."

Prosecutors declined comment.

Valle faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced on June 19.

The defense team said it would ask the judge to set aside the verdict. Defense attorney Robert Baum said the verdict set a "dangerous precedent."

"People can be prosecuted for their thoughts and convicted," he said.

Prosecutors countered that an analysis of Valle's computer found he was taking concrete steps to abduct his wife and at least five other women he knew. They said he looked up potential targets on a restricted law enforcement database, searched the Internet for how to knock someone out with chloroform, and showed up on the block of one woman after agreeing to kidnap her for $5,000 for a New Jersey man, now awaiting trial.

Valle "left the world of fantasy and entered the world of reality," prosecutor Hadassa Waxman said during closing arguments. She said the officer's arrest near Halloween last year interrupted a ghoulish plan to "kidnap, torture, rape and commit other horrific acts on young women."

The jury, which deliberated for just over two days, heard Valle's potential victims testify that they were trading innocent-sounding emails and texts with him, unaware he was supposedly scheming to make meals out of them. The government also sought to drive home the point that Valle was more of a threat because he was a police officer.

The trial opened a window on strange online underworld where people share sick and twisted fantasies of torture, murder, dismemberment and cannibalism.

Associated Press Writer David B. Caruso contributed to this report.

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Pocho wrote:
all circumstantial evidence so to say as he never harmed anyone. He did wrong as a police officer using their computers to look up info of the women. But still he did not commit any physical harm, yeah, he has a sick mind but sitll...
on March 12,2013 | 06:57AM
Terii_Kelii wrote:
You Pocho who is/was one legal messenger downtown??? Anyway, I disagree. Fantasy is one thing, but once he starts acting on the fantasy with acts that would bring his fantasy to reality, then it is a criminal act. He did not do anything to another person, but he made enough steps to show that he planned to. Would it have been better that someone had died before he was stopped or is it better that he was stopped before someone had died?
on March 12,2013 | 07:16AM
Dizzle wrote:
Wrong, he was convicted of charges he plotted to kidnap and cook women to dine on their "girl meat", that's what he did, was charged with and convicted of, evidence was not circumstantial...
on March 12,2013 | 08:50AM
patk wrote:
We stop terrorists before they actually carry out any acts not because they indicate that they hate some country, but rather because they show planned, premeditated and calculated behavior towards a specific goal of destruction loss of life.
This cop went past thinking and started on the path of doing.
on March 12,2013 | 09:04AM
Morimoto wrote:
Glad this sicko is off the street, hopefully for good. If something terrible happens to him in the future, which I hope it does, it will be well deserved.
on March 12,2013 | 09:36AM
daniwitz13 wrote:
One would Have to be brain dead on top of clueless to convict him of a Crime. EVERYONE plans, plots and conspire daily. The Supreme Court has RULED that even disgusting, vile and vicious thoughts and actions are CONSTITUTIONAL. The West Boru Baptist Church that protest at Funerals are Constitutional. Our Laws wrongly use "words" as a Crime. They are NOT deeds done. One's plans, plots and conspiring changes by the minute. Did he Plan, Yes. Is it a Crime, No. Same for the rest. It is a Constitutional and God given Right to think thoughts, good or bad. What ever he did was his Freedom to do. Everyone will have to agree, he hurt no one, and to claim prevention, and begin arresting people for their thoughts is like arresting you for your comments. Lets start with the commenter below that WANTS something bad to happen to him, those are bad thoughts, right? Pity.
on March 12,2013 | 10:50AM
Morimoto wrote:
I can tell you didn't read the article and your statement about the Supreme Court is flat out wrong.
on March 12,2013 | 11:12AM
Dizzle wrote:
Put the pipe/bottle down and Google conspiracy....
on March 12,2013 | 11:43AM
patk wrote:
Thoughts are legal. Planning and taking meaningful steps forward are not. I think the FBI and local authorities may be coming after you next, because you've obviously done a whole bunch of planning, and not for a nice evening out.

Westboro Baptist church are a bunch of hate spewing bigots with many key members being lawyers so they skate the limit of our freedoms. There should be laws against people who are so flagrantly indecent human beings, to the point of lacking any basic compassion.
on March 12,2013 | 01:52PM
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