Judge Delays Start Of Trial Until Feb. 25

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A federal appeals court has denied bail for a New York City police officer charged with conspiring to rape, kill and eat women.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied bail for Gilberto Valle on Tuesday.

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Attorney Edward Zas argued for bail for Valle. He said the officer merely engaged in the same sexual fantasies as 40,000 other people who go on Internet sites that cater to fetishes.

Judge Chester Straub disputed the lawyer’s claim. He said there appeared to be evidence Valle took steps to carry out some of the plots. A prosecutor agreed.

Valle has been charged with plotting to kidnap, torture, cook and eat at least 100 women whose photos, names and addresses authorities said he pulled from a confidential law enforcement database, authorities said.

The 28-year-old was arrested in October based on a tip from his estranged wife.

Valle is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

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He is also charged with one count of intentionally and knowingly accessing a computer without authorization and exceeding his authorized access for allegedly using police computers to locate potential victims, officials said.

A co-defendant from New Jersey previously was denied bail.

Also in court Tuesday, the judge pushed back the start of Valle’s trial.

Defense attorney Julia Gatto complained that she has been swamped with 1,700 pages of documents, which is too much to pore through in such a short amount of time. Gatto also pointed out that Tuesday was the first day Valle was allowed to use a computer while in prison and he needs to review the emails on kidnapping and cooking women that put him there, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.

Gatto argued that jail officials keep Valle handcuffed at all times, making it impossible to use a computer.

The trial, which was slated to begin next week, has been put off until Feb. 25.

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