In this Oct. 25, 2012, file courtroom drawing, federal defender Julia Gatto requests bail for her client, New York City police Officer Gilberto Valle, right, at Manhattan Federal Court in New York. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams, File)
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has overturned the conviction of an ex-NYPD police officer accused of plotting to kidnap, kill and eat young women.
Defense lawyer Julia Gatto says the judge ruled late Monday there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction of Gilberto Valle. Valle was acquitted of kidnapping conspiracy charges. He could have faced life in prison.
Valle was convicted in March 2013 and hadn't yet been sentenced.
A jury concluded he wasn't just fantasizing when he conversed online with others he had never met about killing and cooking his wife and others in a cannibalism plot.
Gatto says the judge's "decision validates what we have said since the beginning: there was no crime."
Prosecutors had argued Valle took steps to carry out his plot, including looking up potential targets on a restricted law enforcement database.