NEW YORK – Defense lawyers for a New York City police officer convicted of conspiracy for plotting to kidnap, cook and eat women say he was persecuted for his thoughts.
But a jury agreed Tuesday with the government that 28-year-old Officer Gilberto Valle (VAL'-ee) wasn't just fantasizing when he conversed online with others he had never met about killing and cooking his wife and others in a cannibalism plot.
The FBI arrested Valle last year based on a tip from his now-estranged wife. He also was found guilty of accessing a national crime database. Sentencing is scheduled for June 19.
Defense lawyer Robert Baum says the conviction "sets a dangerous precedent."
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says the Internet "does not confer immunity" for plotting or taking steps to carry out crimes.