The “Cannibal Cop’s” conviction was overturned by a federal judge. In late 2012, Gilberto Valle was arrested and charged with plotting to kidnap, torture, kill, and eat numerous women. Although he never harmed anyone, Valle was convicted on numerous charges, including conspiracy to kidnap. On Monday evening, a federal judge overturned the former New York City police officer’s conviction — citing lack of evidence.
Valle’s bizarre fetish was revealed when his estranged wife searched his computer. She was specifically disturbed by a document titled “Abducting and Cooking Kimberly — A Blueprint.”
The document described a plot to kill, and eventually eat, a woman named Kimberly Sauer. Valle’s wife was concerned, as the document included a genuine photo. It also included a list of “materials needed” to kidnap and kill the potential victim.
Valle’s estranged wife contacted authorities immediately. In addition to her testimony, she provided the evidence that led to her husband’s arrest and conviction.
Indeed, Valle admits he has an unusual fetish. However, he contends the fantasy was never meant to become reality. In the course of investigation, authorities never found evidence that the “Cannibal Cop” harmed anyone. Furthermore, the “materials needed” were never found in the defendant’s possession.
Valle’s attorney, Julia Gatto, acknowledges that her client has a bizarre fetish. However, she said his fantasies were “pure fiction.”
Prosecutor Randall Jackson disagreed, as Valle named specific women and accessed a federal law enforcement database to gain information about his potential victims. Additionally, Valle discussed his plans with numerous others in internet forums and chat rooms.
As reported by CNN, a jury determined that the “Cannibal Cop” was guilty on all charges. He was facing life in prison.
More than one year later, federal Judge Paul G. Gardephe has overturned the conviction. In his ruling, the judge cited lack of evidence:
“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… 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.”
As reported by Time, the conspiracy to commit kidnapping charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Although that specific charge was overturned, Judge Gardephe “upheld Valle’s conviction of illegally gaining access to a law enforcement database.”
With his most serious conviction overturned, Valle’s maximum sentence is now one year in prison. As the “Cannibal Cop” has already served more than one year, his status will be reviewed on Tuesday.
[Image via NY Daily News]