The former police officer known as the Cannibal Cop has been freed, after a judge overturned his conviction.

Gilberto Valle was found guilty last year of planning to kill, cook and eat women.  But a federal judge tossed that conviction, saying there wasn't enough evidence that he intended to act out his fantasy.

Valle was released on bond yesterday and thanked his family, his lawyers and even the staff at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

"They've made this impossible situation more tolerable for me, and I'll never forget them," Valle said.

Valle's attorney, Julia Gatto, argued that the former police officer's actions were part of a fantasy and role playing game.  She stressed that Valle never intended to act on his thoughts.

"We don't put people in jail for their thoughts," Gatto said.  "We are not the thought police and the court system is not the deputies of the thought police."

Valle could have been sentenced to life behind bars.  He still faces sentencing on a misdemeanor charge.


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