The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 1, 2013

Officer said interest in cannibalism hurt his personal life

— A New York City police officer told investigators after his arrest that his fascination with cannibalism set him on a downward spiral that was wrecking his personal life, an FBI agent testified Friday.

Agent Anthony Foto told jurors at the trial of Officer Gilberto Valle on a kidnapping conspiracy charge that Valle claimed after his October arrest that he did not really enjoy talking to people about kidnapping, killing and eating women.

"He claimed he would not have gone through with it. He claimed he did not enjoy it and he did not know why he was doing it," the agent said in federal court in Manhattan.

Foto told jurors that Valle said his chats and emails with others on the Internet about cannibalism and the torture and killing of women was starting to destroy his personal life, leaving him exhausted and uninterested in sex with his wife.

The agent said that when he asked Valle why he thought he was being arrested, the officer said he believed it was for conspiracy to commit murder or attempted murder.

And when Valle was told to stay calm and everything will be fine, Valle responded: "I don't think so," the agent said.

As Valle was interviewed at FBI headquarters, he admitted that he had spoken to others on the Internet about kidnapping, killing and cannibalism, and he agreed to help the FBI distinguish between which people on the Internet were real threats and which were not.

The testimony came as the government winds down its case against the 28-year-old officer. Valle contends it was all fantasy and he intended no harm.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Robert Baum drew the jury's attention to moments when the FBI tricked his client, including when the FBI told him he been under investigation for a year.

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