published Thursday, February 28th, 2013

It's reality vs. fantasy at NY cannibalism trial

NEW YORK - A defense lawyer has resumed his attack on the government's claims that a New York police officer conspired with Internet friends to kidnap, kill and eat women.

The lawyer, Robert Baum, directed an FBI agent Thursday morning to what he portrayed as arbitrary decisions by investigators about whether various online chats were real or fantasy.

Baum highlighted the fact that two nearly identical Internet exchanges between Officer Gilberto Valle and alleged co-conspirators were classified by the FBI differently. One was considered to be criminal evidence; the other wasn't.

Valle has been held without bail since his October arrest on charges of conspiring to kidnap women, including his wife, and illegally accessing a law enforcement database.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

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