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'Cannibal cop' convicted

March 12, 2013 at 1:26 PM

NEW YORK, March 12 (UPI) -- A federal jury in New York Tuesday convicted former police officer Gilberto Valle of conspiring to abduct, torture, kill and eat women.

Valle, 28, faces a possible life sentence for one count of kidnapping conspiracy, The New York Times reported. The former New York City police officer was also convicted of illegally accessing a law enforcement database.

Federal prosecutors said Valle used the official database to scout out potential victims. His defense team argued Valle was living in a fantasy world when he visited online sites where visitors discuss torturing and cannibalizing women.

Valle's public defender conceded in closing arguments Thursday her client's thoughts were "sick, twisted, ugly fantasies, traded on the computer," but she said it was "all fantasy" and he never intended to harm anyone.

"We don't convict human beings because of ugly thoughts," she said.

Prosecutor Hadassa Waxman told jurors Valle "would have carried out a plan if he thought he could get away with it."

"The evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that officer Valle's plans were real, that he was serious, that he was not just entertaining himself," Waxman said.

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