gilberto valle Opening arguments began today in the trial of 'cannibal cop' Gilberto Valle, including testimony from his wife. (Facebook)

Opening arguments were held today in the case of 'cannibal cop' Gilberto Valle, accused of plotting to kidnap, cook and eat women. Valle's wife also gave testimony, in which she described discovering his fetish.

As expected, the defense argued that the charges are spurious, as Valle was simply fantasizing, and never intended to act on his fantasies, NBC New York reported.

"You can't convict people for their thoughts, even if they're sick," defense attorney Julia Gatto reportedly said.

 

But prosecutors said Valle's plans were targeting "very real women."

Valle's wife Kathleen Mangan gave an emotionally charged testimony today, sobbing uncontrollably when prosecutors displayed a photo of Valle with their baby girl, Josephine, according to reports from the NY Post.

Mangan said that Valle was initially "nice" and "he opened doors and pulled out chairs," but changed when she became pregnant. When the baby was born less than a year ago, Valle emotionally checked out.

"It's like he was gone," she said.

Valle cried during his wife's testimony, according to the NY Post.

Mangan told the FBI about Valle's strange behavior when she started asking questions about where she liked to job, what the lighting was like, and whether other people were around, NBC New York reported.

Investigators had uncovered a file on Valle's computer containing the names and pictures of at least 100 women, and the addresses and physical descriptions of some of them. He was also accused of spying on them at work and at their homes, and negotiating a price to kidnap a woman, insisting on no less than $5,000 to deliver a woman bound, gagged and alive.

Valle was repeatedly denied bail, as was his co-conspirator Michael van Hise, who is awaiting trial.

The charges against Valle carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat

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