A federal jury on Tuesday convicted the so-called “Cannibal Cop” of all charges in a scheme to abduct, kill and cook women, plans he chatted about online with multiple people.
Gilberto Valle, 28, of Forest Hills, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and one count of intentionally and knowingly accessing a computer without authorization.
He could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe on June 19.
“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,” Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said on Tuesday in a statement issued by his office.
“The Internet is a forum for the free exchange of ideas,” Bharara added. “But it does not confer immunity for plotting crimes and taking steps to carry out those crimes.”
The jury had been deliberating since March 7, and Bharara thanked its members for their diligence and their willingness to serve on a case of this nature.
Valle worked in the NYPD’s 26th Precinct in Manhattan. He was accused of scheming online to kidnap, rape and kill women, including his wife and some female acquaintances.
Valle’s wife was the first one to alert authorities to his activities after discovering computer files in which she and some of their female friends were mentioned and pictured.
In the statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the government contended that Valle had a series of communications with a co-conspirator and discussed how to kidnap, murder and cannibalize one woman. The communications included instructions on how to make chloroform.
A file on Valle’s computer contained detailed personal information on the victim, including her age, ethnicity, height, weight and bra size. There also was an accompanying list of materials that would be needed to subdue her.
Valle subsequently met the intended victim for brunch and communicated with his co-conspirator that she “looked absolutely mouthwatering.”
He also had online conversations with another person in which he agreed to kidnap a second woman and deliver her “bound, gagged and alive” to him in return for $5,000.
He admitted to the FBI that he had been on the block where the woman’s apartment building is located, and previous published reports said the bureau was able to pinpoint him there by cell phone records. The intended victim told the FBI that she does not know Valle well and never invited him to her home.
Valle also was convicted of unlawfully accessing the National Crime Information Center database, which is routinely used by law enforcement agencies around the country to assist in investigations and crime prevention.
He used the database to gather information on a woman whose name matched that of a woman for whom he had created an individual file.
Valle had no authorization to conduct such a search, and had no valid reason for obtaining the information that he did. The defense argued from the time of Valle’s arrest last fall that the online entries were strictly fetish fantasies on which he had no intention of ever acting.