Back in October 2012, the NYPD made headlines as a New York police officer was arrested for allegedly plotting to kill and eat dozens of women. Gilberto Valle III was caught by his colleagues having online conversations about his fantasies, which involved cannibalism.
This week, Valle was convicted on one count of kidnapping. The New York Times is reporting that a jury found Valle’s detailed plans to kidnap women proof enough of his intentions.
The case has shined a llght on some of the internet’s more deviant niches. In addition, it has raised questions about the line between online fantasy and reality, especially in regards to people with positions of authority in society.
One of Valle’s lawyers told the Times that Valle was prosecuted for thought crime, saying, “These are thoughts, very ugly thoughts, but we don’t prosecute people for their thoughts.” Valle’s lawyers have vowed to appeal the verdict.
The prosecution in the case, however, was able to demonstrate that Valle had used his access to police databases and resources as a police officer to track and research the women in his fantasies. Regardless of Valle’s real-life intentions toward the women, his misuse of police resources was a factor in the case, and the Times states that he has also been convicted of illegal access to a law enforcement database.