The former police officer whose plans to kidnap, torture, kill and then eat women were deemed "fantasy role-play" by a judge walked out of court a free man today. Gilberto Valle is out on $100,000 bond and will have to live with his mother.
Valle's conviction of kidnapping conspiracy was overturned by federal judge Paul G. Gardephe. (His misdemeanor conviction was upheld, but given that Valle's already served a year in prison, he was freed.) Gardephe felt there wasn't enough evidence for the conspiracy conviction, and his defense lawyer praised the decision; Julia Gatto said, “The judge’s well-reasoned decision validates what we have said since the beginning: there was no crime. Gil Valle is innocent of any conspiracy. Gil is guilty of nothing more than having unconventional thoughts. But we don’t convict people, take away their liberty and imprison them for their thoughts."
Gatto added, "He has served his time and then some. He is guilty of nothing more than very unprofessional thoughts." Valle used his position as a police officer to access law enforcement databases for information about women he was targeting. However, prosecutor Hadassa Waxman said, "The government certainly respects the court’s decision, but believes the jury got it right, and it’s our intention to appeal."
Valle will have to wear an ankle monitor and isn't allowed to use the Internet (he apparently met others interested in kidnapping, raping, killing and then eating women on DarkFetishNet.com). The News reports:
His mother said she planned to cook him up some pastellas — Spanish meat pies wrapped in banana — to welcome him home. Elizabeth Valle said she’s been keeping the delicacy — one of her son’s favorites — on ice for him in her freezer since Christmas.
“This is like a dream. My prayers were answered,” the joyful mom said. “I’m rejoicing.”
...“He’s a good kid,” she told The News. “The only thing he’s guilty of is being stupid enough to be on that website.”Neighbors of Valle's mother aren't sure how they should take the news; one man said that he has his kids for the summer, but now his estranged wife wants him to live in a hotel, away from Valle.