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"Cannibal Cop" kidnap plots were fantasy: defense lawyers

Former New York City police officer Gilberto Valle (L), dubbed by local media as the "Cannibal Cop", listens as his wife Kathleen Mangan tes
Former New York City police officer Gilberto Valle (L), dubbed by local media as the "Cannibal Cop", listens as his wife Kathleen Mangan tes

By Chris Francescani

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City police officer accused of plotting to kidnap, cook and eat women would not have plotted last year for three kidnappings in a single week if he had been serious, defense attorneys argued on Thursday.

Lawyers for Officer Gilberto Valle, dubbed "the cannibal cop" by local media, argued that the plots were pure fantasy and that he was a member of a fantasy role-playing website where people pretend to act out violent sexual fantasies.

Prosecutors have said that out of two dozen plots involving women at least three were real.

In questioning an FBI agent who reviewed thousands of Internet chats and emails that Valle admitted to sending last year, defense attorney Robert Baum suggested that if the plots had been real the week of February 20 last year would have been a busy one for Valle, 28.

Baum sought to show jurors that in emails with several other men, Valle committed himself to delivering his future wife to India and kidnapping a second woman for delivery to a New Jersey mechanic. Baum said Valle also discussed snatching a third woman from Columbus, Ohio.

FBI agent Corey Walsh acknowledged on the witness stand on Thursday that investigators had found no evidence of flights Valle had planned or taken overseas or to Ohio last February.

On Wednesday, Walsh testified that out of two dozen individuals with whom Valle had talked online about kidnapping, only three of the plots were considered by federal investigators to be "real," according to The New York Times.

Several women Valle knew and allegedly plotted online to kidnap have testified that they had no idea they were subjects of his dark fantasies.

Both sides in the case have cited chats in which Valle discussed brutal torture, humiliation, murder and cannibalization of dozens of women, including his own wife.

Defense attorneys cited several on Thursday in which Valle said he was only playing games.

"I'm just talking fantasy,'' Valle said in an email to one man last year. "No matter what I say, it's only make believe."

Prosecutors said no such admissions of fantasy showed up in Valle's emails with the New Jersey mechanic, with a man in Pakistan who claimed to be in India, and with a third man in England who was known as "Moody Blues" online.

"Could you actually eat in reality, if you had a chance?" the man in Pakistan asked Valle.

"Yes,'' Valle replied, according to the FBI agent.

In another online conversation, Valle said, "If I was absolutely 100 percent sure to get away with it, I think I would think about" kidnapping a woman.

(Reporting by Chris Francescani, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst)

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