'Cannibal' Cop's Conviction Overturned
Sick emails don't constitute conspiracy, judge decides
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2014 3:46 AM CDT
This photo submitted into evidence by defense attorney Julia L. Gatto shows New York City police officer Gilberto Valle with his daughter.    (AP Photo/Provided by Attorney Julia L. Gatto, File)

(Newser) – The former New York City cop who fantasized about kidnapping, torturing, and eating women is definitely a disturbing individual, but he's not guilty of conspiracy to kidnap, a judge has decided. In a ruling issued late last night, a federal judge overturned the conviction of Gilberto Valle, saying the evidence did not support it, the New York Times reports. Galle was convicted last year but hasn't been sentenced yet, and his lawyers argued that he should get a new trial because people have "the right to fantasize about whatever and whomever they like, free from government interference."

At the trial—where Valle's wife testified against him—prosecutors argued that his extensive research, including illegally looking up potential victims in a law enforcement database, brought his fantasies too close to reality. But "once the lies and the fantastical elements are stripped away, what is left are deeply disturbing misogynistic chats and emails written by an individual obsessed with imagining women he knows suffering horrific sex-related pain, terror and degradation," the judge that overturned the verdict wrote. "Despite the highly disturbing nature of Valle’s deviant and depraved sexual interests, his chats and emails about these interests are not sufficient—standing alone—to make out the elements of conspiracy to commit kidnapping." Valle's conviction for illegally accessing the law enforcement database was upheld. That charge carries a maximum sentence of one year, and Valle has been behind bars since his arrest in 2012.

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Showing 3 of 30 comments
Lou Bernardo
Jul 3, 2014 4:36 PM CDT
For those who live in safety bubbles and have no real life. This might be shocking, but the whole thing was a fantasy trip. The wife snooped and as women do, went screaming off into a jealousy rage. She's probably a lousy wife who always has a "headache" when approached by her husband for sex. People today have no imagination and can't imagine anyone who does. There are hundreds of on-line blogs where people exchange wild sexual adventures and haven't any intention of carrying them out. It's time for Americans to grow up and stop being afraid of sex, especially fantasy sex between two fantasy freaks.
Calamity_Jean
Jul 2, 2014 9:41 AM CDT
Emails require (at least) two people, the writer and the reader. Who was getting these emails, and what was their response? If the recipient(s) responded with "Yeah, that's a great idea. I'll hold her, you hit her." I'd call that a legitimate conspiracy. Anyone who responded in favor of this kook's ideas should be in the slammer along with him.
Lefty_Libby
Jul 1, 2014 4:51 PM CDT
The appropriate place for this individual is an involuntary psychiatric commitment. That might be a bit more difficult to wiggle out of than a guilty verdict. This man is a serious danger to society.