Hit Composer Facing 11 Rape Charges

Remember You Light Up My Life” – the Debby Boone hit from the 1970s? The song’s composer faces 11 rape charges and prosecutors say there may be as many as eight additional cases.

The alleged culprit is 71-year-old Joseph Brooks. In 1977 he won the Academy Award for best original song for “You Light Up My Life” and directed a movie of the same name.

These days Manhattan prosecutors contend Brooks lured young women to his apartment on the pretense he was offering them chances to audition for a movie. Once in his lair, Brooks allegedly dazzled them with his Oscar and forced the women to drink drugged wine as an acting exercise, then assaulted them.

On Tuesday Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Maxine Rosenthal said prosecutors would request that a grand jury add more charges against Brooks and that there were “additional victims.”

Prosecutors now say Brooks might have assaulted as many as eight additional women.

A judge indicated Brooks may end up facing multiple trials because two alleged rapes took place in 2005 and 2007 while the other assaults were reported to have happened during a month-long time span in Spring 2008 after which Brooks suffered a stroke.

Brooks has pleaded not guilty to the original charges and could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

But multiple rape charges aren’t the only legal problems facing Brooks. He’s also suing a former fiancée he dated after his stroke, claiming she did not tell him she was married. Brooks is suing her for the return of some presents he gave her, including a $550,000 bank account and a $60,000 engagement ring.