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'Cannibal Cop' to Walk Free After Judge Overturns Verdict

By Gustavo Solis | July 1, 2014 12:25pm
 Gilberto Valle, 28, is charged with plotting to kidnap and eat women, authorities said.
Gilberto Valle, 28, is charged with plotting to kidnap and eat women, authorities said.
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FEDERAL COURT — The Cannibal Cop is set to be freed.

Gilberto Valle's conviction for plotting to kidnap, rape, kill and eat several women was overturned Monday night. Federal judge Paul Gardephe laid out terms for his release Tuesday.

Valle is to be freed on a $100,000 bond. He will be on home detention at his mother's Queens address until his resentencing date, which has not yet been scheduled.

He also needs to undergo mental health evaluations, surrender his travel documents and firearms and is not allowed any Internet access.

"He is guilty of nothing more than having very unconventional thoughts," said his defense attorney Julia Gatto. "We are not the thought police. The courts are not the deputies of the thought police."

Gatto was confident Valle will be freed Tuesday.

Valle, an NYPD veteran, had been facing life in prison for his plot to kill and eat several women, including his own wife.

After the judge's decision, he faces only a misdemeanor charge of using police computers to find potential victims, punishable by up to a year in prison. He was convicted in March 2013.

The prosecution plans to appeal the judges acquittal.

"The government certainly respects the court's decision but believes the jury got it right," prosecutor Hadassa Waxman said.

Valle's mother burst into tears when she found out he could go home Tuesday. Family members brought a pair of khakis and a button down shirt to court for Valle to change into.

"He's ready to pick up the pieces of his life," Gatto said outside the courtroom. "He's lost a lot during this case. He's lost his wife, his son, his job."

The judge, however, acknowledged the possibility that the prosecution's appeal could go through.

"I don't think we can assume... that my decision is the last word."

Gatto expects the sentencing to take place sometime in the fall. She told the judge that Valle has already served his time for count two, pointing out that the former officer has been in jail for nearly 21 months, seven of which were in solitary confinement.