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Trial: Graphic photos, how-to-kidnap searches found on computer used by cop

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 10:00am

Graphic violent sexual photographs and evidence of web searches on how to kidnap and cook women were found in the computer account belonging to a New York City police officer accused of conspiring to abduct women in a cannibalism plot, according to testimony in federal court Monday.

Photographs saved in defendant Gilberto Valle's account on his wife's computer included images of women being bound and tortured during sex, and being roasted on a spit in a human barbecue pit, according to testimony.

Valle, who was suspended without pay after his arrest last fall, is charged with conspiracy to kidnap and accessing a law enforcement database illegally. The government concluded its case Monday, and the defense will call its first witness Tuesday.

Prosecutors have argued that Valle was "deadly serious" about online plans allegedly to kidnap, rape, torture, cook and eat women.

Defense attorneys have argued that their client's conduct was "pure fiction," "make believe" and fantasy role-playing. None of Valle's alleged targets was ever victimized.

Testimony Monday from prosecution witness Stephen Flatley, an FBI forensic computer analyst who reviewed the content copied off Valle's wife's computer and hard drive, indicated the computer was used for various searches for ways to kidnap people and eat them.

Valle's wife, Kathleen Mangan, handed over the computer to the FBI in September after she installed spyware under the suspicion her husband was looking at websites of a violent sexual nature.

Screen shots used by prosecutors revealed conversations Valle had with others about kidnapping, torturing, raping, cooking and eating women.

According to testimony, FBI analysis of the computer showed online searches conducted under Valle's account included topics such as "What to look for in human meat," "How to tie up a girl," "Eat her for dinner cannibalism," and "How do you give chloroform to girls."

The government entered into evidence a cached webpage from a site that included this message from a user to Valle: "Looking forward to bringing over another girl to cook for dinner."

During cross-examination of Flatley, the defense revealed that Internet history from the computer account as shown in court was just a fraction of overall searches, which included topics such as Major League Baseball, fantasy sports, weight-loss programs, the Olympics and the New York Yankees.

But prosecutors focused on the computer's contents, including a cataloge of 79 folders with women's names on them.

The computer also contained cartoon images in which the faces of real women were superimposed on characters' heads. The three cartoons showed graphic sexual images, and referred to cannibalism.

Photos found on Valle's account included images of women being tied up with duct tape, and two images that appeared to show a woman being roasted on a spit in a human barbecue pit.

A video was found in the recycle folder of Valle's computer account titled "Girl Being Burned." It was played in court and depicted a naked woman with her hands tied and and with a scarf wrapped around her neck, screaming and moaning while a flame burns near her genitalia.

As the government rested its case, the defense entered a motion for acquittal, saying the government failed to prove a kidnapping conspiracy. The defense argued again that the computer's contents depicted fantasy. The judge made no ruling on that motion.

If the motion for acquittal is denied, it is possible Valle will take the stand, according to defense attorneys.
 

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