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N.Y. police officer says not guilty of plan to cook, eat women

By Basil Katz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City police officer pleaded not guilty on Monday to conspiring to kidnap, torture, cook and eat women.

Gilberto Valle, 28, of Forest Hills, Queens, was charged and arrested in October with conspiring to cross state lines to kidnap the women and with illegally accessing a federal database.

Prosecutors said some of the women were acquaintances of Valle but it was not clear if he knew or had met all of them. Valle, who an official said had no prior criminal record, was not charged with carrying out any of his suspected plans.

At a brief hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Valle's attorney, Julia Gatto, told the judge she would again seek to have her client freed on bail after two other judges previously denied her request.

Investigators uncovered a file on Valle's computer containing the names and pictures of at least 100 women, and the addresses and physical descriptions of some of them, according to the criminal complaint. It said he had undertaken surveillance of some of the women at their places of employment and their homes.

Gatto argues that Valle, a 6-1/2 year NYPD veteran, was all talk and should be released on bail.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The case is U.S. v. Gilberto Valle, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 12-cr-847.

(Reporting by Basil Katz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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