'Cannibal cop' defense rests

March 6, 2013 at 8:02 AM
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NEW YORK, March 6 (UPI) -- New York City's so-called cannibal cop, accused of planning to kidnap, rape, cook and eat women, refused to testify as his defense lawyers rested their case.

Former New York City police officer Gilberto Valle told U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe it was his "desire not to testify" in court Tuesday. He told the judge he believed it was in his best interest.

Valle has been charged with criminal conspiracy to kidnap.

Valle's lawyers said the move was in support of their defense that while their client had been "engaging in very ugly conversations" on the Internet, there has been no evidence he made plans to actually kidnap a woman to play out his fetish fantasy.

"The case is about the government's failure to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," defense attorney Robert M. Baum said after the proceedings Tuesday. "There is just no evidence outside the chats, and the chats are a fantasy.

"Our advice was that he didn't need to testify. It's about a lack of evidence, and Gil had nothing to add."

Before resting its case, the defense aired a videotaped teleconference between both sets of lawyers and Sergey Merenkov, the Russian creator of the cannibal fetish website Valle used, The New York Times reported.

Merenkov said the site has about 38,000 members and he created it because "we saw a niche in the market."

He told the lawyers the website is for fantasy only and he kicked off users when "let's say that it seemed not to be fantasy anymore."

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