A police officer who prosecutors had said plotted to kidnap, cook and eat women will now serve house arrest after a portion of his conviction was overturned. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Gilberto Valle walked out of federal court with a smile on his face and his parents by his side.
A judge tossed out his conviction on charges he plotted to kidnap and cook women, including his own wife.
"I want to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone who has been hurt, shocked, and offended by my infantile actions," Valle said.
The so-called "Cannibal Cop" used the Internet, including fetish websites for what he called his fantasy to kidnap women, cook and eat them, all while being an NYPD officer.
The FBI and federal prosecutors arrested Valle, and a jury him convicted during a trial last year.
The visual evidence was disturbing, including a video that was shown in court of what appeared to be a woman pretending to be tortured.
The judge who oversaw the trial ruled Valle's actions only appeared to be a disturbing fantasy, however—something his defense lawyers had argued all along.
"We don't put people in jail for their thoughts. We are not the thought police and the court system is not the deputies of the thought police."
Throughout this trial Valle's lawyers and family were emotional. His mother wanting to get her son home.
"Cook him his favorite meal and spend a lot of time with him,"said his mother.
"I also want to thank my family. From day one, their support never wavered. I've needed that more than anyone will ever know during this impossible situation," Valle said.
This very interesting case of the so-called cannibal cop doesn't appear to be over yet. Federal prosecutors say they plan to go to a higher court to appeal the judge's ruling.
Defense attorneys say they'll be there because this case is about more than just Gilberto Valle; they say it's about the freedom of speech and thoughts.
"Here in this country we still do have freedom of thought and the government shouldn't be in our head and can't be in our head," Julia Gatto, Valle's defense attorney.
Valle is out on bail while prosecutors make their next move.
The ex-officer has been ordered to get a mental evaluation and to stay off of the computer and internet.