'Cannibal cop' found guilty of conspiracy in New York City
NEW YORK — Police Officer Gilberto Valle's lawyers said he was just spinning sick and twisted fantasies for his own pleasure when he chatted online about abducting, roasting and eating women. A jury, though, decided he was deadly serious.
Valle, 28, was convicted on Tuesday of conspiracy in a macabre case that opened a window on a shocking Internet world of cannibalism fetishists. He could get life in prison at sentencing on June 19 but is likely to face much less.
His lawyers branded the outcome a “thought prosecution” that sets a dangerous precedent, while federal prosecutors said the verdict proved that Valle crossed the line from fantasy to reality.
After more than two days of deliberations, the jury found Valle guilty of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and guilty of illegally using a police database.
Prosecutors said Valle plotted in detail to abduct, torture and cannibalize six women he knew, including his wife. While none of the women was harmed, prosecutors said he took concrete steps to carry out his plot.
They said the New York City police officer looked up potential targets on a restricted law enforcement database; searched the Internet for how to knock someone out with chloroform and where to get torture devices and other tools; and showed up on a woman's block after striking an agreement to kidnap her for $5,000 for a New Jersey man who wanted to rape and kill her. That man was also arrested and is awaiting trial.