June 24, 2009

Songwriter charged with multiple rapes

A 71-year-old songwriter and film producer has been charged with allegedly raping or sexually assaulting 11 women in his New York apartment from 2005 to 2008.

The New York Times said Joseph Brooks, who won an Oscar for his 1977 song You Light Up My Life, was arrested and charged Tuesday with assaulting nearly a dozen women between the ages of 18 and 30.

Prosecutors said he met his alleged victims through Craigslist and an unnamed talent Web site, then lured them to his home with the promise of helping them with their acting careers.

Brooks's 42-year-old female assistant, Shawni Lucier, was charged with assisting the songwriter, who suffered a stroke last year, in his alleged crimes, The Times said.

Brooks pleaded not guilty in State Supreme Court in Manhattan and was released on the promise he will post the equivalent of a $250,000 cash bond by Thursday, the newspaper said.