Oscar-Winning Composer Accused of 11 Rapes

     MANHATTAN (CN) – Movie producer-songwriter Joseph Brooks, who won an Academy Award for the song “You Light Up My Life,” lured 11 women to his Upper East Side apartment with promises of movie roles, then drugged and sexually assaulted them, the District Attorney’s Office said. “Nine of the 11 victims responded to an ad on Craigslist,” the DA’s Office said.

     Brooks, 71, surrendered Tuesday and faces eight counts of rape, eight counts of criminal sexual assault and other charges. Brooks’ personal assistant, Shawni Lucier, also is charged in the 91-count indictment.
     “In many cases, the victims were forcibly raped,” according to the DA’s written statement. Brooks met a 2007 through “a posting on a talent Web site,” and a victim in 2005 through an audition, prosecutors said.
     Brooks allegedly played up his Hollywood connections and bragged about his Oscar, offering to show it to them at his apartment.
     Brooks flew 10 of the women to New York for the “auditions,” prosecutors said. They came from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington state.
     Shawni Lucier, 42, was arrested and charged with criminal facilitation. She allegedly knew Brooks was raping the aspiring models and actresses, and helped her boss solicit the women and arrange the meetings.
     The victims were either forcibly raped or incapacitated first, prosecutors said. Several victims believe their drinks were spiked with drugs.
     After turning himself in, Brooks was arraigned and entered a plea of not guilty.
     Brooks won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1977 for “You Light Up My Life,” for the film of the same name that he also wrote, directed and produced.
     The song reached No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts and also won him a Golden Globe Award and an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Award.
     Brooks has until Thursday to post $500,000 bail. The case will then be adjourned until Aug. 11.

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