Cannibal case tests lines of fantasy, threat

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At a bail hearing on Thursday, defense attorney Julia Gatto argued that he never posed a threat. Charges of kidnapping with the intent to murder are overblown, she said.

Her client “at worst is someone who has sexual fantasies about people he knows and he talks about it on the Internet, but not act on it,” she said. “Nothing has happened. We may be offended. … But it’s just talk, your honor.”

But prosecutors won the argument to jail Valle by claiming his fantasies had morphed into a very real threat.

At the time of his arrest, Valle was on the verge of “kidnapping a woman, cooking her and actually eating her,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Hadassa Waxman.

The government cited evidence that Valle compiled a dossier on women he knew — and hoped to turn into meals.

“How big is your oven?” an unidentified co-conspirator asked in a July chat about one alleged target.

“Big enough to fit one these girls if I folded their legs,” Valle responded, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors accused Valle of running names of women on a police computers without permission to get more information on them, and of following two of them, once while on-duty. He also made a cellphone call from near the home of one woman, authorities said.

Some of Valle’s alleged conduct raises red flags, Parsons said.

“This is somebody using a database to target potential victims,” he said. “That means it’s more serious.”

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Associated Press Writer Colleen Long contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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