Gilberto Valle, better known as the "Cannibal Cop," has given up his vicious custody battle with his ex-wife since the legal fees have begun to overwhelm him.
Valle, a former New York City Police officer, was arrested in 2012 on charges of conspiring to kidnap and consume women. According to a report by New York Daily News, he was obsessed with fringe fetishes, including cannibalism, bondage and other horror-oriented sexuality. His arrest came shortly after his wife discovered that he had mentioned her numerous times on forums and chatrooms dedicated to his fantasies, under the username "Girlmeat hunter."
Valle's conviction meant potentially life in prison. While he was incarcerated, his wife, Kathleen Mangan, served him with divorce papers and stripped him of custody of their daughter, Josephine. However, in June of 2014, Manhattan Federal Court Judge Paul Gardephe overturned Valle's conviction, and ever since then he has fought to get his paternal rights back.
Valle doesn't seem to feel that his fetishes disqualify him as a parent. He told NY Daily News that he simply doesn't want his daughter to grow up without a father.
"She has no idea who I am. I don't know what she looks like," he said. "I've been completely cleared but that doesn't mean my life is back to normal. This is going to stick with me for the rest of my life."
Josephine is now 6 years old, though Valle hasn't seen her since she was 11 months old.
Mangan, who now lives in Reno, Nevada, has fought Valle at every turn, seeking to strip him of any parental rights. Last month, Valle was finally forced to drop his case when a judge ordered that he pay for his ex-wife's attorney's fees. He said that he's already put $50,000 into the case, and he couldn't afford to keep it up.
"I argued it's in the child's best interest to have a father. Kathleen argued, 'He might murder my daughter.' I don't think she really thinks that," Valle said. "It would be a lot better if she had a relationship with me for five or six years before she starts looking stuff up."0comments
Before it ended, the four-year custody battle mainly concerned whether Valle's fetish could be held against him legally. Mangan's attorney often pointed out that Valle hadn't been quiet about his proclivities since leaving prison. He capitalized on his identity as the "Cannibal Cop," appearing in an HBO documentary about the case and even writing a horror novel titled A Gathering of Evil.
"Josephine is a young girl, who will someday become a woman. Gilberto's 'fantasies' and involvement in these chat rooms puts Josephine at risk and given his affinity to fantasize about women close to him, there is a risk that Josephine may someday become a victim," Mangan said in court documents.