A former New York City police officer plotted to kidnap, kill and cook women, a jury decided Tuesday.
After 16 hours of deliberation, a jury reached the verdict that Gilberto Valle, 28, was guilty on all charges.
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Prosecutors charged that Valle plotted to kidnap women, keeping files on more than 100, and conspired to eventually kill and cook them.
His defense lawyer portrayed his actions as harmless sexual fantasies, telling jurors he should not be convicted for his thoughts.
Evidence included online communications in which prosecutors said he plotted to cook women, judging whether his oven could fit one if he folded her legs. He also agreed to a payment of $5,000 to deliver a woman bound, gagged and alive, prosecutors said.
His wife, who was among his planned victims, prosecutors said, testified against him at trial. He cried during her testimony.
Valle, a Forest Hills resident who had patrolled in Harlem, faces life in prison.
Former Brooklyn prosecutor and attorney Michael Weinstock said the “game changer” in the case was Valle illegally using a crime database to find information on potential victims, which was itself a crime and showed taking an action past chats.
“He’s not just going onto a website with weirdos and talking about killing his wife,” Weinstock said. “That would be weird, and that would be disturbing, but that alone would not have gotten the guy convicted.”
In his opinion, he continued, “If he had simply said twisted things with other peculiar nerds online, it never would have been prosecuted, but once he opened the database, it was a game changer.”
But he said he did not think this case would set a precedent for others involving conspiracy to commit crimes, simply because prosecutors do not have the resources to patrol every sexual fantasy.
“They’ve got their hands full,” he said.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement that the case showed that the web cannot be used for planning crimes.
“Today, a unanimous jury found that Gilberto Valle’s detailed and specific plans to abduct women for the purpose of committing grotesque crimes were very real and that he was guilty as charged,” Bharara said. "The internet is a forum for the free exchange of ideas, but it does not confer immunity for plotting crimes and taking steps to carry out those crimes.”
Planned to abduct and cook 100 women
Negotiated price of $5,000 to deliver a woman bound, gagged and alive
Used the National Crime Information Center to find potential victims
Kept files including a document entitled, “Abducting and Cooking [Victim-1]: a Blueprint,” with name, birthday, height, weight and bra size
Excerpts from the alleged planning
“[My oven] is big enough to fit one of these girls if I folded their legs.”
“I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus … cook her over a low heat, keep her alive as long as possible.”
“I love that she is asleep right now not having the slightest clue of what we have planned. Her days are numbered.”