Accused 'cannibal' cop denied home confinement
Calling his behavior "depraved, bizarre, aberrational and as of now, unexplained," a federal judge Tuesday declined to release to home confinement a suspended NYPD officer accused of conspiring to kidnap, torture and cook women.
Gilberto Valle, 28, of Forest Hills, remained silent at his bail hearing in front of Judge Paul Gardephe at federal court in Manhattan.
Valle's public defender, Julia Gatto, asked to have him placed in home confinement with his mother with an electronic ankle bracelet and GPS tracking his movements, as well as restricted Internet access.
"He's not a danger to himself and he's not a danger to the public," Gatto said.
Valle was indicted Friday on charges of conspiracy and unlawfully accessing a National Criminal Information System computer database, which federal prosecutors said he used to compile dossiers on women and swap details about them with online "co-conspirators." He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Federal investigators said he discussed abducting a woman with an online "co-conspirator" for a price of $5,000, and chatted online about raping and torturing women. Gatto said there's no evidence Valle acted on what she called "sick, twisted thoughts."
Federal prosecutor Hadassa Waxman opposed the bail motion, saying "this defendant is not fantasizing. This defendant is for real" and that he would pose a flight risk and jeopardize public safety if released on bail.
She noted that in a Feb. 9 online chat, Valle wrote about abducting a woman before Thanksgiving. "It's a long way off, but I'm getting a plan," he said online, adding that he knew where the woman lived, according to Waxman.
Gardephe agreed, saying that "I have no confidence that he can abide by conditions of bail."
Gatto said because he is a police officer, Valle has been held in solitary confinement since his arrest last month. Gardephe said he would help expedite a speedy trial, and set the trial date for Jan. 22.