NEW YORK (AP) - The New York City policeman accused of planning to abduct women, cook and eat them was set to go on trial Monday, with U.S. prosecutors planning to show that he used a restricted law enforcement database and did surveillance on potential victims.
The baby-faced tabloid sensation is expected to take the stand as his defence tries to argue that it was all fantasy, that his online chats were so offensive and over-the-top that they couldn't be taken seriously.
"I'm planning on getting me some girl meat," 28-year-old Gilberto Valle allegedly wrote in one chat room. "It's this November, for Thanksgiving. ... She's not a volunteer. She has to be abducted."
A criminal complaint claims that Valle created a computer file cataloguing at least 100 women with their names, addresses and photos. It accuses him of illegally culling some of the information from the restricted database A conviction on the kidnapping count carries a possible life sentence.
The defence has been bolstered by pretrial rulings that will allow Valle's lawyers to call expert witnesses expected to give jurors a tutorial on online sexual deviance and fetishes often called "vore," short for carnivore.
A clinical sexologist will testify about sexually explicit websites that "resemble improvisational theatre," court papers say. "The style is to maintain the repartee, regardless of how implausible, ridiculous or even impossible the conversations gets."
A forensic psychiatrist and criminologist who examined Valle contends most men "who have sexually sadistic fantasies ... engage in no harmful actions toward others," the papers say.
The witness found that Valle has no serious mental illness or personality disorders related to violence. Instead, he says, the defendant has recurring fantasies of sexual sadism - a condition known as paraphilia.
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.