Oscar-winning songwriter and director Joseph Brooks charged with rapes

June 24th, 2009 - 1:30 am ICT by admin  

NEW YORK CITY (BNO NEWS) — Oscar award winning songwriter and director Joseph Brooks has been arrested on charges that he raped and sexually assaulted 11 women over a 3 year period, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Brooks won the Oscar for Best Original Song for the 1977 ballad “You Light Up My Life.” He also wrote and directed the “You Light Up My Life” movie which is about a comedian who has a one-night stand with a director.

Brooks was arrested early Tuesday and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon in the New York Supreme Court. He has been indicted on multiple charges of rape, criminal sexual acts, sexual abuse, forcible touching, assault, grand larceny, and criminal mischief. Shawni Lucier, his personal assistant, was indicted on charges of criminal facilitation. Lucier is accused of having facilitated the sexual assaults of nine of the victims. She allegedly arranged the victims’ meetings with Brooks while she knew they would be sexually assaulted.

According to the 91-count indictment, Brooks sexually assaulted the female victims in his apartment at 130 E. 63rd Street in New York’s Upper East Side. The victims, whose ages ranged from 18 to 30, were lured to his apartment under the guise of an audition for an acting role. Ten of the victims were flown by Brooks on commercial airlines to New York from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington state.

All the crimes occurred between March 2005 and April 2008. Nine of the victims responded to an ad on Craigslist in 2008. The woman who was raped in 2005 met Brooks at an audition and was invited to audition with Brooks for a “special project.” A woman who was raped in 2007 responded to a posting on a talent website. In many of the cases, the victims were forcibly raped and incapacitated.

Brooks was indicted on eight counts of rape in the first degree, eight counts of a criminal sexual act in the first degree, two counts of an attempted criminal sexual act in the first degree, four counts of rape in the second degree, seven counts of a criminal sexual act in the second degree, 19 counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, one count of assault in the second degree, four counts of rape in the third degree, one count of attempted criminal sexual act in the second degree, six counts of a criminal sexual act in the third degree, one count of attempted sexual abuse in the first degree, one count of Grand Larceny in the fourth degree, 10 counts of sexual abuse in the second degree, seven counts of forcible touching, one count of a criminal mischief in the fourth degree, one count of attempted sexual abuse in the second degree and one count of sexual abuse in the third degree.

For some of the charges, if convicted, Brooks faces more than 53 years in jail. Lucier, his assistant, was indicted on nine counts of criminal facilitation in the fourth degree, which is a class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau thanked New York City Police Department Detective Julia Collins-Jollon of the Manhattan Special Victims Squad and her commanding officer Lieutenant Adam Lamboy.

Assistant District Attorney Maxine Rosenthal is in charge of the case, assisted by Assistant District Attorney James Zaleta, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Lisa Friel, Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit. Senior Investigator Lauren Liebhauser, of the District Attorney’s Office Investigation Bureau, assisted in the investigation under the supervision of Joseph Pennisi, Chief of the Investigation Bureau.

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