US wants supervised release for ex-police officer
NEW YORK (AP) -- Prosecutors say they want supervised release with strict rules for an ex-policeman acquitted in a conspiracy to kidnap, kill and eat women and they aren't seeking to send him back to prison - at least not yet.
In a pre-sentencing memorandum filed Tuesday, prosecutors said that one year of supervised release is sufficient for Gilberto Valle's conviction for unlawfully accessing a federal database. Valle is scheduled to be sentenced next Tuesday.
The government noted that it is appealing U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe's decision to override a jury verdict and order Valle acquitted on the most serious charge.
It asked that strict bail conditions remain in place for Valle, who was dubbed the Cannibal Cop by tabloids, including restrictions on his access to the Internet and on his contact with women it alleged were targets of a kidnapping conspiracy, including his ex-wife.
But defense lawyers said in court papers Valle is well on his way to becoming a model citizen. They said he hopes to become a lawyer and stays in contact with inmates he met during 21 months in prison, seven of which were in solitary confinement.
Valle could have faced life in prison after he was convicted by a jury in March 2013 on a conspiracy charge. Jurors heard evidence that he conversed online with people he had never met about killing and cooking his wife and others in a cannibalism plot.
The judge wrote in a lengthy opinion that evidence made it "more likely than not the case that all of Valle's Internet communications about kidnapping are fantasy role-play."
The defense has asked the judge to sentence Valle to one year in prison, which he has already served. It said it does not oppose a one-year period of supervision with limited conditions appropriate for someone rebuilding his life. It said the judge should remove Valle from home confinement, a condition in place since he was released from prison four months ago.
The lawyers said their client has suffered enough.
"He has lost nearly everything. He lost his job. He lost his liberty for 21 months. He lost his wife and his child. He lost many of his friends. He lost his reputation and anonymity," they said.
The lawyers said Valle now recognizes that the substance of his Internet chats was "deeply troubling and disturbing" and meets weekly with a counselor to discuss it.
"Although having his sexual fantasies revealed in the public forum of this prosecution has been devastatingly embarrassing for Gil, there also is a sense of relief and liberation in being able to confront and overcome them," the lawyers wrote.
They added: "Gil does not want his life's legacy to be the story of the `Cannibal Cop.' He is only 30 years old and intends to make something more out of his life. Inspired by the team of people who defended his innocence, Gil wants to go to law school."