News

Judge overturns conviction of ‘cannibal cop’

Judge overturns conviction of ‘cannibal cop’

'CANNIBAL COP:'This undated file photo submitted into evidence by defense attorney Julia L. Gatto shows New York City police Officer Gilberto Valle. A federal judge, late Monday, overturned Valle's kidnapping conspiracy conviction. Photo: Associated Press

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former New York City police officer found guilty in March 2013 of plotting to kidnap, cook and eat women has had his conviction overturned by a federal judge, according to court documents.

A federal judge granted the acquittal of Gilberto Valle, dubbed the “cannibal cop” by the tabloid media, on the charge of conspiracy to kidnap, in a decision reached on Monday and scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday. He was awaiting sentencing.

“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,” U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan wrote in the 118-page opinion.

The trial brought to light a macabre cyberspace community where millions of people discuss and exchange images and video of extraordinary brutality, much of it staged.

Federal public defenders had asked Gardephe to grant Valle a new trial, arguing the U.S. Constitution grants people the right to fantasize, free from government interference.

Gardephe upheld Valle’s conviction on a lesser charge of improperly accessing a law enforcement database, which prosecutors said he used to help find his intended victim. That charge carries a sentence up to one year in prison.

Prosecutors said Valle crossed the line from fantasy to reality by taking specific action in conspiring to kidnap women. Valle’s attorney had argued that he was merely engaged in online fantasy role playing.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson and Jon Stempel; Editing by Bill Trott)

Recent News

in Entertainment

Kevin Spacey’s stalker sentenced to 4 years

kevin

A Massachusetts woman who threatened to torture the actor has been sentenced to more than four years behind bars.

in Music

Gene Simmons’ son following in dad’s rock footsteps

simmons

Nick Simmons, 25, is starting his own rock band.

in Music

Chrissie Hynde calls today’s singers ‘porn stars’

hynde

The rocker says there's a difference between talent and "porn stars trying to make records."

in Entertainment

Nick Cannon’s $2M – yes, $2 million! – shoes

cannon

The shoes hold more than 14,000 full-cut diamonds set in white gold with a weight of 340 carats.

in Entertainment

Joan Rivers leaves fortune to her dogs

Joan-Rivers2

Oh, and some of it goes to her daughter too!