Gilberto Valle, the New York City “Cannibal Cop” who was originally convicted on charges of conspiracy to kidnap — as well as charges of improperly accessing a government computer — will be a free man. This, despite the fact that his wife discovered a horrifying collection of messages and documents on his computer describing elaborate plans to “kidnap, torture, cook and cannibalize more than 100 women, including herself,” per Addicting Info.
On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Valle’s acquittal on conspiracy charges, and also threw out a prior conviction on the computer charge. The court said that fantasizing about a heinous crime is not the same thing as actually committing it.
According to the Washington Post, Judge Barrington Parker wrote in his opinion, “This does not mean that fantasies are harmless. To the contrary, fantasies of violence against women are both a symptom of and a contributor to a culture of exploitation, a massive social harm that demeans women. Yet we must not forget that in a free and functioning society, not every harm is meant to be addressed with the federal criminal law.”
Valle discussed his freaky sex fantasies in an HBO documentary produced earlier this year, saying he is different now. “When you’re typing it, you don’t really think about it,” he reportedly said. “You’re just sort of in the moment. But as soon as the computer went off, it’s over. I’m the person who I am. I’m incapable of any violence. I couldn’t hurt a fly.”
In his chats, however, Valle fantasized about putting women in a human-sized oven, saying he would make chloroform to use on his wife, and noted, “She does look tasty, doesn’t she?” He also said he wanted to see her suffer.