The defense wrapped up its case Tuesday in the so-called cannibal cop trial, but not before jurors were shown more graphic images. (A warning to viewers: some of those images shown in the video could be disturbing to watch.) NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
According to prosecutors, while a video found on Gilberto Valle's computer depicting torture appeared to be staged, the video illustrates the NYPD officer's very real intentions.
They said Valle visited a fetish website hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
The site's webmaster said that while the images are extreme, it's just fantasy.
Sergey Merenkov co-founded the website. He gave a video deposition from his native Russia with defense lawyers and federal prosecutors.
In that interview, which was played for jurors Tuesday, Merenkov explained that his site is set up just like other social media, but said it caters to those with extreme sexual fetishes.
"Everything that you see on Facebook, basically, you can encounter on the website," Merenkov said through an interpreter. "These are private chats, groups, the ability to publish photo albums on the site."
The U.S. attorney's office said that Valle used fetish sites to conspire with three others in New Jersey, England and Pakistan to kidnap, torture, cook and eat women he knew, including his own wife.
Prosecutors said the officer used the profile name girl meat hunter.
In his testimony, Merenkov acknowledged that he was not certain whether people used the site to really plan or commit crimes.
"That the site can be used for illegal activity, yes, there is a possibility of that," Merenkov said through an interpreter.
The officer's family members have been in the courtroom throughout the trial. At one point, his mother shook her head when the sexual images popped up on the screen.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday.