Alleged 'cannibal cop' Gilberto Valle denied bail
Alleged cannibal cop Gilberto Valle's latest bid to get out on bail was quickly rejected by a panel of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday morning.
Lawyers for Valle, 28, who has been imprisoned since October on charges that he plotted on the Internet to abduct, rape and eat women, told a three-judge panel that all the evidence showed was that Valle was role-playing in a chat room for people with bizarre fantasies.
The government won't be able to prove the NYPD officer ever intended to take action on his fantasies, said federal defender Edward Zas.
"When the history of this case is written, what will be said is, 'How did everyone get it so wrong?' " Zas argued. ". . . He has done nothing but imagine very bad things and put them foolishly on the Internet in a very bad way."
But one of the panel members, Judge Chester Straub, reminded Zas that the government alleged that Valle also had surveilled two targets. Prosecutor Hadassah Waxman told the judges that Valle's own wife took him seriously enough that she tipped off cops and moved out with their child.
Waxman also revealed that after having lunch with one of his targets, a former classmate at the University of Maryland, Valle wrote in a chat forum that his "mouth was watering the whole time." The prosecutor called his musings "depraved, disgusting, troubling and gruesome."
A magistrate and two judges in federal court in Manhattan had ruled that Valle should be held without bail as a flight risk and a danger to the community. The circuit judges turned down his appeal before even leaving the bench Tuesday.
Valle had been seeking a quick trial because he is imprisoned. But in a hearing Tuesday afternoon, after his appeal was turned down, his lawyers told U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe that they couldn't be ready by Jan. 22 as scheduled, and the judge postponed the start of trial to Feb. 25.