New Jersey man in "cannibal cop" case denied bail

By Chris Francescani

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - A federal judge denied bail on
Monday to a New Jersey man arrested last week on suspicion of
conspiring with the so-called "cannibal cop" to kidnap and rape
a woman.

The prosecutor and defense attorney clashed repeatedly in a
one-hour hearing over their sharply different interpretations of
the intent of the suspect, New Jersey mechanic Michael Van Hise,

Prosecutors contend Van Hise discussed a kidnap-for-rape
scheme with New York City police officer Gilberto Valle III, who
was charged in October with plotting to kidnap, torture, and eat
women. Defense attorneys for both men say their clients were
merely engaged in fantasy role play.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman conceded the case "is not
entirely black and white" but denied bail for Van Hise on Monday
because the evidence suggested "this was going beyond the realm
of fantasy."

The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Jackson,
insisted Van Hise was "serious" about an email exchange with
Valle discussing the kidnap and rape of the woman, in which he
haggled over the price of the kidnapping.

Defense attorney Alice Fontier said Van Hise never intended
to act on his words, adding that he had cooperated with
investigators since he was first approached by the FBI in

Valle has been dubbed the "cannibal cop" by New York media
in reference to emails in which, prosecutors say, he discussed
eating his victims.

Valle was charged with conspiracy to kidnap and accessing a
government computer without authorization. He pleaded not guilty
and insisted he, too, was engaged in role play only.

Fontier said she would appeal Pitman's ruling, asserting
federal prosecutors arrested her client to prevent him from
testifying on Valle's behalf at his federal trial later this

(Reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Daniel Trotta and
Andrew Hay)