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Defense in cannibalism plot trial says conversations were fiction

By Kristina Sgueglia, CNN
updated 5:25 PM EST, Fri March 1, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Defense team tries to paint Gilberto Valle's conversations as fantasy
  • Prosecutors say the police officer accessed database looking for info on women
  • Prosecutors: Valle planned to kidnap three women during the week of February 20, 2012

New York (CNN) -- Defense attorneys for New York police officer Gilberto Valle, accused of a cannibalism plot, tried Thursday to show their client engaged in "fantasy role-play" during online conversations with his three alleged co-conspirators.

Reviewing aloud the text during cross-examination of prosecution witness Corey Walsh, defense attorney Robert Baum sought to make the FBI agent counter his prior testimony that Valle's e-mails and online chats with others who said they were interested in cannibalism were real.

Prosecutors have argued that Valle was "deadly serious" about online plans to allegedly kidnap, rape, torture, cook and eat women. None of Valle's alleged targets was ever victimized.

Defense attorneys have argued that their client's conduct was "pure fiction," "make believe" and fantasy role-playing.

Also Thursday, prosecutors submitted evidence to support their claim that Valle accessed a national database to look for information about three women -- twice in July 2011 and once in May 2012. The evidence presented revealed Valle's unique police officer identification number, which corresponds with the identification number used to search the names of his alleged victims.

Graphic e-mails read at New York cannibalism plot trial

Prosecutors also presented evidence that Valle had twice trained on the system and that he would have been instructed not to access the database for personal reasons. Valle is also charged with accessing the National Crime Information Center database illegally.

The defense Thursday tried to show that Valle provided false information about the alleged targets' locations to some people he wrote online. In one instance, Valle said the woman was at a college four hours away, even though she attended school in New York. In other instances, he said he was watching an alleged target, when she really lived in Ohio. Records indicate Valle never went to Ohio.

Valle repeated the same conversations with the alleged co-conspirators months later, reintroducing the name of the alleged target, and renegotiating a price to kidnap her. Valle never gave addresses when asked and said in some instances he didn't have the women's addresses, records show.

Court records show that Valle did have the addresses of his alleged targets, from sending them a police charity card that he claimed would "get (them) out of a minor traffic violation" if they are pulled over by police.

Prosecutor Randall Jackson argued that the police charity card was a ruse -- an attempt to gain personal information about the women.

Valle planned to kidnap three women during the week of February 20, 2012, prosecutors said, pointing to some of the e-mails and chats. Baum asked Walsh repeatedly if he still thought that those were real conversations. Walsh replied, "Yes, sir."

The defense reviewed online chats between Valle and a man identified as "Moody Blues" or "Chris Collins" or "meatmarketman," who Valle met on the Dark Fetish Network. "Meatmarketman," who lives in the United Kingdom, bragged in one conversation about one of his past victims, sending Valle a picture, and saying "tried her alive first, actually it wasn't very good, very bloody."

Prosecutors: Officer was 'deadly serious'

"Meatmarketman" expressed concerns in the conversations about cooking his victim to death and how it might affect the meat, adding he "likes the idea of splitting the carcass."

In July 2012, Valle told meatmarketman, "I am working on a document, everything we need to carry this out." Authorities said they found a document in Valle's account on his wife's laptop titled "Abducting and Cooking Kimberly -- A Blueprint."

Walsh testified about the document, revealed in court, which contained a picture of Kimberly Sauer and personal information, including her bra size and shoe size. Sauer's testimony Tuesday revealed that some of the information -- a different last name, birthplace, birthday and college education -- was inaccurate. The same document listed "materials needed" and included a gag, rope, chloroform and a tarp for the trunk. The FBI never found any of these items in his possession.

References to the blueprint were found in chats the FBI deemed "fantasy role-play," along with references to waterboarding and chloroform, terms frequently used in the online conversations.

On redirect, the prosecution noted that none of the conversations between alleged co-conspirators made references to "just fantasy," "make believe" or had instances where Valle wrote "It's not real," and "I am just talking fantasy," as he did write in 80% of the conversations with 21 other people found in his e-mail account.

Walsh testified that some of these fantasy conversations contained some "real" statements that reflected Valle's state of mind.

In many of the chats deemed fantasy, the prosecution noted that Valle discussed story-writing fantasy partners. One story he was working on with another person featured "a restaurant that sells women in all varieties, sometimes grilled or roasted as whole, sometimes in steaks or pieces, sometimes a la carte, or in a buffet."

This was the fourth day of the trial of Valle, who has been a New York police officer for six years.

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