‘Cannibal Cop’ Wants A New Trial

‘Cannibal Cop’ Wants A New Trial

Gilberto Valle

Gilberto Valle

Gilberto Valle, a former NYPD officer from Forest Hills who infamously landed the nickname “cannibal cop,” is seeking a new trial after a federal jury convicted him in March on charges that he conspired to kidnap women and cook, kill and eat them.

Valle’s attorneys filed papers in Manhattan Federal Court on June 17, requesting that Valle’s conviction be tossed out. The so-called “cannibal cop,” who had worked in Manhattan’s 26th Precinct, had faced life in prison, but his sentencing, originally scheduled for June 19, has been postponed until prosecutors and the judge finish reviewing Valle’s attorneys’ request.

“Gilberto Valle is innocent,” the court documents read. “He is guilty only of having deviant, sexually sadistic fantasies and sharing them with like-minded strangers.”

Federal prosecutors had accused Valle, 28, who attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, of plotting to kidnap, rape and kill more than 100 women, including his estranged wife, who broke down on the witness stand during the March trial, and female friends from college.

Valle’s former wife, with whom he has a baby daughter, first alerted authorities about her husband after prosecutors said she found a trove of images of dead and mutilated women and horrifying plans allegedly for her and a number of other women on their home computer in Forest Hills.

During the trial, prosecutors showed jurors images from Valle’s computer that depicted women being tortured and sexually assaulted. Additionally, prosecutors said they found such Google search terms as “how to kidnap a woman” and “human meat recipes” on his computer, as well as online chats with three individuals that spelled out horrifying plans for victims.

Following the jury’s verdict, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Paul Gardephe said the material found on Valle’s computer “degrades the human spirit and corrupts the human soul.”

Valle’s attorneys argue that while the ex-cop’s fantasies were disturbing, he never acted on them.

“This was a thought prosecution,” Valle’s court-appointed defense attorney Julia Gatto said during a press conference after the jury’s verdict. “These are thoughts, very ugly thoughts, but we don’t prosecute people for their thoughts.”

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara disagreed and, following March’s conviction, praised the jury for their guilty verdict.

“Valle’s detailed and specific plans to abduct women for the purpose of committing grotesque crimes were very real,” he said in a statement following the conviction.

By Anna Gustafson


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