An alleged would-be NYPD "cannibal cop" is on trial, accused of being the mastermind behind an alleged international plot to kidnap, cook, and eat women.
The 28-year-old police officer, Gilberto Valle, is accused of hatching this strange plan online. The alleged plot was discovered by his wife, a Bronx school teacher who alerted authorities, reports CNN. Valle's trial began last week.
To show that this was just not some fantasy without any chance of becoming reality, prosecutors say they have detailed files of conversations Valle had with his co-conspirators on fetish websites.
No one was hurt in the cannibalism plot, though authorities say Gilberto Valle's plan had taken a more definitive shape. He faces charges of conspiracy to kidnap a woman, reports CNN.
In Valle's defense, his attorney offers that the conversations were "pure fiction." She says that Valle is only guilty of having bizarre thoughts and was an idiot for sharing them with others over the Internet. In her opening statements, she concluded that while Valle's thoughts were "very disturbing," there was no crime committed.
In this case, "very disturbing" would be a great understatement, as Valle is accused of fantasizing about boiling women and presenting them on a plate with an apple in their mouths, writes CNN.
But was a crime actually committed?
Generally, to prove criminal conspiracy, prosecutors have to show that two or more people agreed to commit some unlawful act, and then took some action toward its completion. The critical element in a conspiracy charge is the parties acting toward completing the crime.
In Gilberto Valle's case, prosecutors say that his concrete step toward commission of the crime was the drawing up of the plans and the targeting of "very real women," several of whom Valle knew. Valle is also accused of accessing NYPD's database to perform further research on some potential victims.
- New York judge bars death photos at alleged cannibal cop trial (The Associated Press)
- Cannibal Cop's Accomplice Arrested: He's Even More Depraved (FindLaw's New York Criminal Law Blog)
- Ex-NYPD Officer Gets 1 Year in East Village Rape (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Attempt, Conspiracy and Aiding (FindLaw)