Oscar-winning composer, 71, raped 11 women using Craigslist to lure victims with promise of film role

August 11th, 2009 by

Daily Mail
The Oscar-winning composer behind ‘You Light Up My Life’ raped 11 women he lured to his apartment with the promise of a starring role in a movie, prosecutors said today.

The women read an online ad placed by director, Joseph Brooks, applied for the audition ‘and thought this was their chance to become a big star,’ prosecutor Lisa Friel said.

Instead, once the women were in Brooks’ Manhattan apartment, he plied them with wine and forcibly raped them or used threats and coercive behavior to make them have sex with him, prosecutors said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1195157/Oscar-winning-composer-Joseph-Brooks-raped-11-women-using-Craigslist-attract-victims-promise-film-role.html#ixzz0Ns63HyMm
Brooks, 71, denied the accusations. He pleaded not guilty in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court, where he is being tried for 91-counts and charged with rape, criminal sexual act, sexual abuse, assault and other charges. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of first-degree rape.

Justice Charles Solomon set bail at $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash bail and gave Brooks until Thursday to post it. The judge told Brooks not to leave town without letting the court know.

‘I feel like a weight has been lifted,’ said victim Loretta Spruell, 23, who auditioned for American Idol, ‘I’m glad he is going to be held accountable for all the lives he’s destroyed and not hurt anyone else.’

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, about a comedian who has a one-night stand with a director.

District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said Brooks used his Hollywood credentials on the Craigslist classified ads Web site to attract the victims, aged 18 to 30. He said Brooks’ ad specified attractive young women for a starring role in a movie.

Morgenthau said nine of the 11 women were from the Portland, Oregon, and Seattle areas and the others were from California and Florida. He said Brooks paid to fly 10 of the women, who did not know each other, to New York.

He said Brooks’ scheme, which ran from at least 2005 to 2008, was enabled by his personal assistant, Shawni Lucier, who helped pick the victims, interviewed them, arranged their travel and made them feel comfortable.

He said that when the women’s mothers called, Lucier, of Federal Way, Washington state, would assure them their daughters were fine.

When Brooks was ready to strike, he said, Lucier would leave the apartment ‘knowing what the end result would be.’

Brooks became a suspect after one woman went to a hospital and reported what had happened and another complained to authorities in February and March 2008, prosecutors said.

Assistant District Attorney Maxine Rosenthal, the lead prosecutor, said she found other victims by searching Brooks’ and Lucier’s computers and cold-calling women whose names she saw.

‘We have records from his and his assistant’s computers that connect him to these women,’ she said.

There might be another seven or eight victims, she said.

Brooks’ lawyer, Jeff Hoffman, said his client ‘told me he didn’t do any of these things.’

He said Brooks, who suffered a stroke in 2008, ‘will have faith in the justice system.’

Lucier, 42, was indicted on nine counts of criminal facilitation and is expected to return from Washington state and surrender to authorities in New York City next week, Morgenthau said.

She has no attorney in New York and didn’t immediately return a telephone message seeking comment Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1195157/Oscar-winning-composer-Joseph-Brooks-raped-11-women-using-Craigslist-attract-victims-promise-film-role.html#ixzz0Ns66MeNr


One Response

  1. BigDog

    An American Idol contestant says it all. Just looking for pay day and 15min. of shame… my opinion

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment. You are free to voice your opinion but please keep it clean. Any comments using profanity will be rejected.