Trial to Begin in Case of NYC Cannibal Cop Gilberto Valle

Opening statements are expected to begin early Monday afternoon in the case of Gilberto Valle, the New York City police officer accused of plotting to cook and eat women.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan plan to use emails and other evidence to show that the 28-year-old had dangerous schemes to abduct women and devour them. They say he even drew up a list of targets using a law enforcement database.

Defense witnesses are expected to describe how he lived in a secret fantasy world. They say participants role play and fantasize about cannibalism, but never act on it.

A New Jersey man charged with scheming with Valle to kidnap, rape and murder a Manhattan woman is awaiting trial. He also says he intended no harm.

According to his lawyer, Gilberto Valle began his fascination with S&M when he was 10 years old after seeing the movie "The Mask."

In a letter to Manhattan Federal Court Judge Paul Gardephe in January, Valle’s attorney, Julia Gatto, said her client’s sexual arousal appear "to have originated with a scene in the move . . . in which Cameron Diaz pretends to be abducted and bound,” according to the New York Daily News.

Citing observations by psychiatrist Paul Dietz, who is working with the defense, Gatto said at an early age Valle “has experienced erotic arousal when imagining naked women or when imagining women abducted and bound by others.”

Gatto wrote that Valle had told Dietz that after years of fantasies, it was his college roommate’s pornographic DVD's that were his “gateway into cannibalism pornography.”

Having spent time with the “Cannibal Cop,” Dietz is prepared to testify that Valle never had any intention of acting out his fantasies, the lawyer said.

Valle spent his life repressing his feelings because he wanted to “end up with an attractive, smart and respectable woman,” Gatto wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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