The cannibal cop case in New York has taken a new turn, this after NYPD officer Gilberto Valle‘s conviction was overturned.  Convicted in 2013 for a supposed plot to kidnap, torture, kill and eat women, the evidence against Valle was thin enough for a federal judge to overturn the ruling Monday.

Judge Paul G. Gardephe of the Federal District Court in Manhattan acquitted Valle of the most serious charge he faced, which was kidnapping conspiracy. Facing life in prison by way of the charge, Judge Gardephe wrote in a 118-page opinion the basis for why he made his decision.

From the New York Times:

The case had drawn widespread attention both because it involved a police officer and because it raised the question of when does a virtual crime, discussed and plotted in Internet chat rooms, cross over into actual criminal activity, including what kinds of additional steps are needed to create an actual crime.

The judge said in “the unique circumstances of this extraordinary case,” he had concluded that the evidence offered by prosecutors at trial was not “sufficient to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Valle entered into a genuine agreement to kidnap a woman, or that he specifically intended to commit a kidnapping.”

The judge said in an order issued earlier on Monday that he would hold a hearing on Tuesday, presumably to discuss the status of Mr. Valle, who has been imprisoned since his arrest in late 2012.

Valle’s second conviction for illegally using a law enforcement database was upheld, and carried a maximum sentence of one year.

In March of 2013, the NYPD fired Valle immediately after his conviction.

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