‘Cannibal Cop’ Gilberto Valle got a little taste of freedom on Tuesday after a federal judge in New York overturned his conviction, citing insufficient evidence for the charge that he plotted to cook, eat, rape, and murder women.
Judge Paul Gardephe decided the government failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Cannibal Cop “entered into a genuine agreement to kidnap a woman, or that he specifically intended to commit a kidnapping”.
Gardephe wrote in his reversal that “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.”
Without enough evidence to support to the Cannibal Cop’s March 2013 conviction, Gilberto Valle was acquitted of the conspiracy to kidnap charge. However, Gardephe did uphold Valle’s second count of illegally using NYPD databases look up women’s personal information, but since Valle had already served 18 months of his life sentence, he’s basically free – as long as he stays in his mother’s house and away from the computer.
“I want to take the opportunity to apologize to everyone who’s been hurt, shocked and offended by my infantile actions,” a beaming Valle, 30, told a throng of media in his first public statements since his 2012 arrest.
He also thanked his family, his lawyers, and even the staff and inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
He did not thank his wife, Kathleen Mangan, who testified against him after finding disturbing photos on their shared computer, chat exerts from the website DarkFetishNet.com, and thousands of emails detailing his plans to kidnap, kill and eat young women – including her. Needless to say, they are not on good terms.