Dramatic testimony defined the first day of the trial of a city cop accused of plotting to kidnap, kill and eat his female victims, including his estranged wife. NY1's Dean Meminger has the story.
Officer Gilberto Valle wiped away tears, sobbing as his wife cried loudly during her testimony against him. Kathleen Mangan-Valle told jurors she discovered her cop husband was checking out some very disturbing websites.
She said one website had a dead girl on the front page. Elsewhere she saw pictures of severed feet.
Federal prosecutors say some of those websites specialize in deviant sexual fantasies. But they say Valle wanted his fantasies to become reality.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Jackson told jurors Valle had pictures and profiles of hundreds of women. Prosecutors allege Valle plotted with three men to kidnap, rape, murder and eat women, including his wife.
But the officer's defense team says all of this is nothing more than sick sexual fantasies like thousands of others have.
"He never intended any acts of violence, he didn't commit any acts of violence," Valle's attorney Julia Gatto said. "All he's done is thought some very bizarre thoughts and shared them with others who share the same fetishes as him on the internet."
But Valle's wife testified she feared for her safety. She said she found emails between her husband and others planning to torture and kill her.
"I was going to be tied up by my feet and my throat slit," she said.
That's when she contacted the FBI.
Defense attorneys say Valle should have never been arrested.
"We are hopeful that the jury will follow the judge's instructions," defense lawyer Robert Baum said. "That emotions have no role in the verdict that they will render."
But prosecutors say it's terrifying, because Valle was dead serious and used his NYPD computer to illegally access a national crime database to track potential victims.
His wife says Valle had some of his friends and NYPD coworkers on his alleged hit list.
"He even put other cops on there and told people they were cops," she said.
Valle's wife says she met her husband on the website OKCupid.com, but she didn't know he was in to fetish sites.
Defense attorneys told jurors throughout the trial they would be on a wild and bizarre journey.
The first day was definitely an emotional roller coaster.