Christopher Asch, a former NYC librarian will serve 15 years in prison after being convicted of planning to kidnap, rape and murder women and children. A co-defendant in the case against Gilberto Valle, Asch is accused of taking active and aggressive steps to put his plans in motion with the other co-defendants to kidnap, sexually brutalize and ultimately kill their targeted victims.
Asch could have received life in prison. His attorneys are currently appealing his sentence. Asch plead guilty to the charges filed against him.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Asch Was Named As a Co-Defendant in The Lawsuit Filed Against Gilberto Valle, ‘The Cannibal Cop’
Asch was named as a co-defendant in the notorious case against Gilberto Valle, “the Cannibal Cop” along with Michael Van Hice, Richard Meltz, and of course Valle himself. Van Hice, Meltz and Asch were charged with crimes that did not involve Valle. Specifically, they are accused of conspiring to kill Van Hise’s own wife, sister and sister-in-law’s minor children, as Reuters reports.
A copy of the indictment is as follows.
One of the reasons the case against Valle was so sensational is the fact that he is a former NYPD officer. Richard Meltz also held a high-profile position; he was the Veterans Affairs hospital police chief, The Daily Mail reports.
The conversations between Van Hice, Meltz and Asch were held using the same forum as Valle, DarkFetish.net. While the charges against Valle were later dropped in large part due to being thought crimes, Van Hice, Meltz and Asch are accused of taking much more serious steps in order to put their plans in motion to kidnap, rape and murder their victims.
2. Asch Is Accused of Having Various Items in His Possession Intended to Sexually Torture Women & Children With
Prosecutors allege in their court filings that Asch “purchased a collection of tools that he intended to use to kidnap and torture women, including a stun gun and leg spreaders.” He is also accused of having a large cache of child pornography.
The full details of the allegations against Asch are outlined in the following Memorandum and Order. Please be advised that the memorandum contains graphic content.
FBI Agent Jason Floyd was assigned to the case and conducted a raid of Asch’s Greenwich Village home. In addition to the plethora of bondage gear, he found a videotape labeled “Pain 35” which reportedly depicted two men torturing a woman. The video featured simulated rape scenes and sexual violence, but it is believed that the woman in the film was consenting. Agent Floyd surmised that Asch used “Pain 35” and other videos for instructional purposes to prepare for the crimes he was preparing to commit, up to and including killing his victims.
3. Asch Was Formerly Employed as a Librarian at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan
Asch, who is 65 years old, began working in the New York City school system in 1989. In 2002, he gained tenure at Stuyvesant High School, where he was employed as a librarian. It was not long before Asch ran into trouble at Stuyvesant.
In 2009, Asch was accused of harassing and inappropriately touching male students. He was put on unpaid leave for six months and transferred to a different school. The arbitrator ultimately found that Asch’s conduct was not sexual in nature, Newsweek reports.
Asch has been in custody since his arrest in 2014, and his employment has obviously been terminated. Assuming he serves his full term, he will be 80 years old when he is released.
4. The Judge Presiding Over the Case, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe, Called Asch a Danger to Society
The Sentencing Memorandum specifically states “Asch is a Danger to Society and Should be Sentenced to a Substantial Period of Incarceration, Significantly Above Probation’s Recommended Sentence of 120 Months.”
“Here, all of the factors that the Court must consider in imposing sentence—including the seriousness of the offense, the need for deterrence, the need to protect the public from the defendant, and the defendant’s need for specialized help—all support the need for a substantial term of incarceration. While it has been four years since the defendant was convicted, the facts of this case remain vivid to all of the individuals involved in prosecuting this case. Through the pendency of the conspiracy, Asch was an individual who was obsessed with sexualized violence against women and children. He sought out other men who shared this obsession, and specifically sought out men who, like him, were looking to act out his violent fantasies. Richard Meltz, Asch’s co-defendant who pled guilty, was one the people he found; so was Michael VanHise, and Darren, the undercover FBI agent who Asch met, on numerous occasions, to discuss their plans to rape and torture women.” Source: Sentencing Memorandum.
The full Sentencing Memorandum is as follows. Please be advised that it contains graphic details in connection with sexual violence against women and children.
Asch, Van Hice and Meltz all entered guilty pleas, which were taken into consideration during sentencing. Gilberto Valle’s conviction was overturned and he has since been released from prison.
5. An Undercover FBI Agent Was Able to Apprehend Asch
The FBI investigation was initially launched in 2012. An undercover agent, known as “Darren,” began corresponding with on DarkFetish.net, according to court filings. Darren and Asch discussed a plan to kidnap, torture and ultimately kill a woman. Darren initially wrote a post about wanting to kidnap, brutalize and kill his target, and he was looking for someone to partner up with. It is believed that Asch responded to the post, and that is how their correspondence began.
Asch eventually met with Darren and is alleged to have provided him with a ski mask, a taser and a leg spreader device. The taser was disguised as a flashlight. Based on these allegations, Asch was indicted for conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Asch also brought a large amount of cleaning supplies, including bleach, to the meeting.
“Moreover, all of Asch’s communications with Meltz, Darren, and others, must be viewed in light of the steps he took to prepare for the crimes, including meeting meeting Darren with supplies to carry out a gruesome and brutal crime. Along with the taser that he travelled to another state to buy—and took steps to hide the purchase of—Asch collected tools of sexual torture, such as a leg spreader, a contraption that would force a woman to keep her legs spread open against her will. He also brought practical things such as a chemical agent to help knock a a woman out, rubber gloves, and bleach – to clean up the blood and body fluids after the rape and torture was complete. There is no sexual thrill in buying and transporting bleach—it is a practical item, in this case purchased by someone who had thought through the reality of physically torturing another human being, and knew it would be messy and take steps to clean up.” Source: Sentencing Memorandum.