User Login    
 + Register
News : Officer's Conviction In Cannibalism Case Overturned
Posted by Randy on 2014/7/1 4:12:11 (444 reads) News by the same author

NEW YORK (AP) -- The 2013 conviction of a former New York City police officer in a plot to kidnap, torture, kill and eat women was overturned late Monday by a federal judge who said there was not sufficient evidence to support it.
Click to see original Image in a new window

The judge, Paul G. Gardephe of Federal District Court in Manhattan, granted the former officer, Gilberto Valle, a verdict of acquittal on the most serious count that he faced, kidnapping conspiracy. He could have faced life in prison on that count.

“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,” Judge Gardephe said in a 118-page opinion issued late Monday night.

Mr. Valle, who was convicted in March 2013, had not yet been sentenced, and his federal public defenders had asked Judge Gardephe to grant him a new trial, arguing that the Constitution granted people — including police officers — “the right to fantasize about whatever and whomever they like, free from government interference.”

No women were ever abducted or harmed in the plot, but prosecutors told the jury that Mr. Valle had “crossed the line” while immersing himself in a fetish website where he communicated electronically with others about how he wanted to abduct women, butcher and cook them, and eat them.

Mr. Valle’s lawyers had argued that his plot was all part of a twisted fantasy — “no more real than the alien invasion” featured in the 1938 radio drama “War of the Worlds,” one defense lawyer, Julia L. Gatto, said in her closing argument.

But federal prosecutors argued that Mr. Valle had taken “concrete steps” to further his plans, including illegally looking up potential victims in a law enforcement database, carrying out surveillance of them, and using the Internet to research ways to abduct, subdue and cook potential victims.

“He left the world of fantasy; he entered the world of reality,” one prosecutor, Hadassa Waxman, said in her closing argument.

But Judge Gardephe wrote that “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.

“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.”

The case had drawn widespread attention both because it involved a police officer and because it raised the question of when does a virtual crime, discussed and plotted in Internet chat rooms, cross over into actual criminal activity, including what kinds of additional steps are needed to create an actual crime.

The judge said in “the unique circumstances of this extraordinary case,” he had concluded that the evidence offered by prosecutors at trial was not “sufficient to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Valle entered into a genuine agreement to kidnap a woman, or that he specifically intended to commit a kidnapping.”

The judge said in an order issued earlier on Monday that he would hold a hearing on Tuesday, presumably to discuss the status of Mr. Valle, who has been imprisoned since his arrest in late 2012.

Judge Gardephe upheld Mr. Valle’s conviction on a second count, of illegally gaining access to the law enforcement database, which carried a maximum sentence of one year. Mr. Valle was fired by the Police Department upon his conviction.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2015/8/2 9:59:36 - Trenton Firefighter Dies In Accident
2015/7/31 6:50:00 - Chillicothe To Receive New 79 Room Hotel
2015/7/31 6:40:00 - Rabbit, Poultry And Dairy Show Results From NCM Fair
2015/7/31 4:53:31 - Wheat Yields Good In MU Variety Tests
2015/7/31 4:48:25 - Carthage Couple To Stand Trial In Abuse Of 1-Month-Old Baby
2015/7/31 4:39:49 - Feds: Man's Own Security System Caught Him Dealing Drugs
2015/7/31 4:35:24 - Woman Rushes To Ailing Mom's Side, Leaves 4 Young Children Home Alone
2015/7/31 4:26:49 - Harrison County Man Arrested For Abuse After Child Found On Highway
2015/7/31 4:21:54 - "Exorcism" At Public Park Caught On Camera
2015/7/31 4:18:14 - Woman Accused Of Getting 13-Year-Old Drunk, Raping Him
2015/7/31 4:09:51 - Country Showdown Begins At 7:30 Tonight At NCM Fair
2015/7/31 4:03:01 - Livingston County Sheriff Hires New Deputy
2015/7/31 3:59:24 - Chillicothe Police Department Blotter
2015/7/31 3:57:05 - Chillicothe Police Department To Hold Softball Event
2015/7/30 14:21:48 - Endangered Person Advisory Issued For Missing Princeton Girl
2015/7/30 7:54:33 - Circuit Court In Trenton Sees A Variety Of Cases
2015/7/30 6:46:10 - Northwest Missouri Man Injured In Tuesday Night Accident
2015/7/30 6:40:44 - Two Trenton Residents Injured In Schuyler County Accident
2015/7/30 6:30:00 - Trenton Man Charged With Domestic Assault
2015/7/30 6:26:05 - Iowa Man Injured In Accident South Of Eagleville
2015/7/30 5:58:21 - Swine And Goat Show Results From North Central Missouri Fair
2015/7/30 4:29:28 - Facebook Scam Preyed On Grieving "Angel Mom"
2015/7/30 4:22:43 - Police: Inmate Assaults Missouri Corrections Officers In Escape Attempt
2015/7/30 4:17:44 - Effort Starts To Fight Kansas City's New Minimum Wage Law
2015/7/30 4:12:22 - J. C. Penney Employee: Boss Confronted Her Over Shorts She Bought At Same Store
2015/7/30 4:10:00 - Mother Charged After Toddler Found Unresponsive In Home Filled With Dead And Dying Animals
2015/7/30 3:56:29 - 4 Charged By Police With Burglary At Gallatin
2015/7/29 8:43:48 - Team Farmer Event At North Central Missouri Fair Canceled
2015/7/29 8:39:02 - Gallatin City Council Meets
2015/7/29 8:36:01 - Gallatin Man Arrested On Multiple Counts Of Child Porn



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM