Now that Cannibal Cop is (sort of) walking free, it appears his cohorts are trying to use that whole "fantasy role play" ruling that got his conviction overturned, too.

Gilberto Valle was convicted of conspiring to kidnap, kill and eat women along with Michael Van Hise and former Stuyvesant High School teacher Christopher Asch; a third man involved, Richard Meltz, pleaded guilty. But now that Valle's verdict has been overturned, Van Hise's and Asch's lawyers see an opportunity. “I don’t want to be overly optimistic, but it bodes well for Mr. Van Hise," his attorney, Alice Fontier, told the Daily News, noting that like Valle, her client had "no plan" in place to actually commit the kidnappings and murders he fantasized about. "It has always been our position that Mr. Van Hise engaged in fantasy role play with Mr. Valle and many others,” she told the Post.

Valle's lawyers argued that, under the First Amendment, he had "the right to fantasize about whatever and whomever they like, free from government interference," and on Monday a federal judge released a 118-page opinion agreeing that there wasn't enough evidence to prove Valle really would have killed and eaten anyone. And like Van Hise's attorney, Asch's attorney says he's "hopeful that the court will reach a similar decision for Asch."

Meanwhile, Valle's overturned conviction has sparked hope in a few alleged Bernie Madoff cohorts, whose attorneys have requested that a Manhattan federal Judge look into whether Assistant US Attorney Randall Jackson—the same prosecutor who handled Valle's case—"subverted the efforts for a fair trial."