Skip to comments.“People can be convicted for thoughts”: ‘Cannibal cop’ attorney says decision will be appealed
Posted on 03/13/2013 7:48:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
His online fantasies to kidnap, sexually torture, cook and eat women were more than just gory make believe. Thats what a jury concluded in its guilty verdict against so-called Cannibal Cop Gilberto Valle that left him, his lead attorney and his family in tears.
Im shocked! was the terse reaction from the mother of Patrol Officer Valle as she ran out of the federal courthouse on Centre Street. Her outburst came minutes after the jury of six men and six women concluded that her son was guilty on the two charges he faced: conspiracy to kidnap and accessing a federal government database without authorization.
Its a devastating verdict for us, said Valles lead defense attorney, Julia Gatto. We have poured our hearts and souls into this case, and it was devastating to hear, Guilty. Im sure Mr. Valle was crying. I was certainly crying. It was very emotional to hear, since we believe so much in his innocence.
Valle has always insisted that disturbing evidence on his computers seized by the FBI were part of a subculture of paraphilia of which he was a part. Paraphilia is a diagnosed mental condition, and paraphiliacs are sexually aroused by thoughts and images of cannibalism.
Among the evidence on the six-year NYPD veterans computers that led his now-estranged wife to report him to FBI investigators were images and videos of women chained up and bleeding. An investigator admitted in court that the images and videos appeared to be staged scenarios. Valle also possessed images of women who appeared to be dead, as well as detailed profiles of women many of whom were friends or acquaintances of his.
At least one of the profiles, titled Abducting and Cooking Kimberly A Blueprint indicated criminal intent on Valles part. But in that document, he falsified all of the personal information for the woman hed plotted with other paraphiliacs to kidnap and abuse.
In fact, Valle, 28, never carried out any of the plans he dreamed up with other cannibal fetish users online, which is why his lawyers were convinced that he was innocent. The jury said otherwise.
People can be prosecuted for their thoughts, Valles attorney, Robert Baum said outside of court minutes after the verdict came down. Baum added, And [they can be] convicted, which is even sadder.
His co-counsel, Gatto, said, The case involved thoughts that were unusual, bizarre, and frankly very ugly. We think the jury just couldnt get past that.
The jurys deliberation lasted from last Thursday afternoon to late Tuesday morning, with a break for the weekend. Figuring out their collective thought process is, for now, a challenge. PIX11 News went to the home of the jury foreperson, and called him as well, but he was not home for comment. All other jurors left the courthouse without speaking to any reporters.
One juror, who did not want to speak with anyone, contacted the U.S. Attorneys office to report that a journalist had managed to get past her doorman and to knock on her apartment door. She didnt answer. U.S. Marshals have been put on standby to respond to unwanted inquiries of jurors by reporters.
The U.S. Attorney, whose office prosecuted this case, had plenty to say about it. A statement issued by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, said, in part, The Internet is a forum for the free exchange of ideas, but it does not confer immunity for plotting crimes and taking steps to carry out those crimes.
Valle and his attorneys disagreed. They said that the activity the disgraced police officer engaged in, which included accessing the National Crime Information Centers database from his NYPD patrol car computer, was for the purpose of carrying out his fantasies only.
These were thoughts, very ugly thoughts, Gatto said outside of court, but we dont prosecute people for their thoughts. And well continue to appeal.
She and her legal team plan to file a request within 30 days for the judge to throw out the jurys verdict. That is not expected to be approved. Valles publicly-financed lawyers are also planning to have his case heard in a higher court. They consider this a precedent case.
Meanwhile, Valle remains in solitary confinement in federal lockup. His sentencing date is scheduled for June 19th. He faces up to life in prison.
Backgrounder to the case:
A New York police officer was convicted on Tuesday in a bizarre plot to kidnap, torture, kill and eat women, ending a trial whose outcome hinged on a delicate distinction between fantasy and reality.
The trial had drawn widespread attention, in part because it involved an officers disturbing behavior, but also because it raised a fundamental question: When does a virtual crime, contemplated in Internet chat rooms, become an actual crime?
There was no evidence that any of the women whom the officer, Gilberto Valle, was accused of plotting to kill were harmed. But prosecutors argued that the officer took actual steps to further his plot, like conducting surveillance of potential victims.
Mr. Valle, 28, could receive life in prison for one count of kidnapping conspiracy when he is sentenced on June 19. The Police Department fired him upon conviction.
His lawyer, Julia L. Gatto, called the verdict devastating and said the government had not proved its case. This was a thought prosecution, she said. These are thoughts, very ugly thoughts, but we dont prosecute people for their thoughts. And well continue to appeal and continue to fight for Mr. Valle.
The trial highlighted some of the darkest corners of the Internet, where fetishists hide behind Web identities like Girlmeat Hunter the name that Mr. Valle used and engage in role-playing fantasy about cannibalism and sexual torture.
Don’t worry, Valle! Soon enough the death-worshiping Leftists will make paraphilia another sexual orientation!
So what would be the use of a mental test for purchasing a firearm, if one never did anything bad, but just fantasized about it?
Would this guy have passed the test?
And another protected class.
This is the movie MINORITY REPORT come to life. I understand that this guy is probably a sicko but if he actually did nothing...............well this is scary that you can be arrested annd convicted for doing nothing......WOW
Be careful what you post even on FR.... just sayin’
Reading to many erotic fantasy snuff comics!
Err I think when people read dark fantasy they open themselves to demons.
This is clearly a mental illness, and he should not be a cop, but life in prison for a perverted fantasy? If that is the standard no one is safe. Keep your personal behaviors to yourself!
“which included accessing the National Crime Information Centers database from his NYPD patrol car computer”
There’s the ‘catch’. If it was unauthorized use then that is why he was found guilty. If he had authorized access to the database then he is not guilty.
But we all knew that the thought police were avid already. It is another nail in the coffin.
I guess for Halloween this year, I will be wearing an Easter bunny costume.
You don’t get life in prison for unauthorized computer access. That sentence is for the conspiracy conviction.
US law is specific---one who contemplates and verbalizes committing a crime does do not have to "complete" the crime before L/E steps in.
His conviction also included "accessing the National Crime Information Centers database" from his NYPD patrol car computer.
IMO, that was the clincher--b/c he was fantasizing UNTIL he took concrete steps to find the women he wanted to cannibalize.
Thanks for educating me, it just sounds like a very fine line to me.
In my opinion, he was NOT guilty of conspiracy to kidnap, because, as the article explains, there was no identified victim, and no evidence of attempts to carry out any crime.
You should be allowed to WRITE about committing a crime, without being convicted of it.
However, is was certainly guilty of illegal access to a database. He had no right to use his position an an officer to get information from the crime database. And if he shared that information with others, I would think there could be additional charges for that as well, but I guess he didn’t.
I know, people want to be “safe”, but we can’t give up our liberties in the hopes that occasionally we might catch a criminal. We can’t arrest a thousand people for writing about a crime, just so that in one case we stop the actual crime.
We cannot get into “pre-crime”. When we prosecute people for what they think about doing, we have stepped over a line to tyranny. A person should be allowed to think about doing bad, so long as they stop themselves before they actually start to do bad.
He didn’t “actually do nothing”. He illegally accessed the police database and conducted surveillance on chosen targets.
He says it was just fantasy, but he took physical actions in furtherance of making those fantasies into reality.
I heard that Judge will probably only give him counseling and no jail time. He will go to a psych hospital until he is better and then released. This is a very slippery slope though.
Beat me to it. If a sexual orientation can be classified as a mental illness, what distinguishes paraphilia from homosexuality on that basis? Sure, killing people is a lot worse than having sex with your own sex, but they are are both just “sexual orientations”. Right. Like pedophilia, for example.
Must be political. Homosexuality used to be classified as a mental illness, but not anymore. It was homosexuality that changed.
Soon enough the death-worshiping Leftists will make paraphilia another sexual orientation!
Exactly. My thoughts as I was reading this were that the left has been constantly pushing more and more deviancy.
Up until the 1970s, premarital sex and shacking up were not the norm for the majority of Americans. The entertainment industry started advancing aggressively the narrative that chastity was some sort of useless throwback, a notion that held women back from achieving true happiness. Unfortunately, many bought into this paradigm. So much so that people unabashedly announce that they are living together outside of marriage and even have children in such an arrangement.
Next, they rolled out homosexuality as acceptable, and here we are with huge numbers of people becoming accepting of calling homosexual pairings “marriage”.
Well, along with getting those accomplishments wrapped up, they started working on all sorts of perversions within heterosexual activities, such as S&M.
I remember being so appalled when they came out with the Hannibal Lector (sp?) series of movies. I did, at the time, conclude that the movie industry was pushing the envelope for some agenda, but it did not dawn on me until years later that they were trying to normalize yet another deviant, evil behavior. I have led a pretty sheltered life so I was not aware that this sort of behavior had a sexual involvement.
The vampire trend has a place in all of this, I am sure. No, please don’t tell me....
At any rate, the left is doing the devil’s bidding in all of this, and they have the media to thank for much of their success. I have often wondered in recent years how much of this has been accomplished through subliminal messages. I wish someone on our side with the technical know-how would analyze some movies, especially Disney and others aimed at children.
I agree with you.
And what about the Left classifying heterosexuality as a mental illness? Don’t think it’ll happen? Just watch.
Think of video productions as another form of storytelling but in a much more powerful way. You don’t have to use subliminal messages to indoctrinate a nation into doing evil.
Remember that old saying, “Monkey see, monkey do”?
I have come to a different take on what the legal response to the discoveries about this individual should have led to. In my view it should not be his “criminal conviction” but legally enforced institutionalization in a mental hospital.
He most likely did not commit a criminal offense, but I would take his self-admitted mental problem as a public risk if not under institutionalized observation. I do not personally believe that such an individual obsesesses on the cannibalistic fanatasies he does and never, ever, ever hopes to realize them in reality.
I am all opposed to mere “hate crimes”, but a mere “hate crime” is an entirely different area of “thought” than insanity.
His case, like recent mass shooting cases, reflect, in my view, our modern social unwillingness to error on the side of public safety over the Liberty of the insane. I recognize that we can cause grave error either way. That if we swing the pendelum back to error more on the side of public safety, there may develop, down the rode, a slippery slope over the definition of “criminally insane”. I realize it is an error without perfect solutions and only vigilence can trim our excesses, though I acknowledge our excesses must usually incur some harm to someone before we realize we have gone to far. It’s not a perfect world; nor ever will be.
Thanks, thats what I get for not following the story closer.
I agree that is the law, and it should be. It seems to me this guy was either a little over or under the "concrete steps" line. I guess its up to the appellate courts to give us the answer now that the jury has spoken.
There's some pretty sick stuff on the Internet.
Illegally obtaining the home addresses of his chosen targets by accessing a national law enforcement database for personal purposes is both a crime and a concrete step over the line.
You don’t need the home address of a fantasy, you do if you intend to act out a plan.
oh, I think that is a distinct possibility
“You dont get life in prison for unauthorized computer access. That sentence is for the conspiracy conviction.”
I wasn’t discussing ‘conviction’. I was approaching only ‘guilt’ or ‘innocence’.