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Judge overturns ‘cannibal cop’ conviction, grants release: reports

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Updated 3:10 p.m.

The conviction of the Queens man known as “cannibal cop” in a scheme to kidnap, kill and eat women has been overturned, allowing for his release Tuesday, according to published reports.

Gilberto Valle was found guilty last March for conspiracy to commit kidnapping and accessing a federal government computer database without authorization. Late Monday Judge Paul G. Gardephe of Federal District Court in Manhattan acquitted Valle of the kidnapping conspiracy, the New York Times reported.

The former NYPD officer, who had yet to be sentenced, in the case, faced life in prison on the kidnapping charge. The judge upheld the second count, and which carried a sentence of up to a year in prison, the Times said.

Valle, who had been in prison since his arrest in late 2012, was granted his release on $100,000 bond Tuesday, and ordered to home detention at his mother’s Queens home, reports said. He was also ordered to wear an electronic monitoring anklet, prohibited from using the Internet and will need to keep away from his victims.

According to the New York Daily News, Valle will also be required to undergo mental health treatment.

“I want to take the opportunity to apologize to everyone who’s been hurt, shocked and offended by my infantile actions,”  Valle said to the media after walking out of court later that afternoon, according to the Daily News.

During the trail, it was argued that the six-year NYPD veteran and Forest Hills resident improperly used a federal law enforcement database to look up information on his possible targets.

FBI agents also provided evidence of Valle’s “sick web chats with fellow fetishists” and Internet searches, including “recipes for human flesh” and “how to chloroform a girl.” He not only researched ways to kidnap and cook his victims but also carried out surveillance of them, the Times reported.

While prosecutors were trying to prove his actions went beyond “fantasy role play,” the defense argued the opposite.

Judge Gardephe agreed with the defense in his opinion, writing “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,” according to the Times.

Prosecutors are planning on appealing the acquittal, reports said.