KIRO7, the CBS affliate in Seattle, spent a year investingating allegations that young women had been lured via a “Seattle-talent gigs” ad on CraigsList to audition with Joseph Brooks, author of the 1970s Oscar and Golden Globe-winning ballad “You Light Up My Life.” The lyrics are lovely:
So many dreams I kept deep inside me
Alone in the dark but now
You’ve come along
You light up my life
You give me hope
To carry on
You light up my days
and fill my nights with song
It can’t be wrong
When it feels so right
You light up my life
But, perhaps these young women should have watched the movie You Light Up My Life before they got on the plane. It is about a comedian who has a one-night stand with a director.
According to New York City prosecutors, Brooks had help from his personal assistant, Shawnie Lucier from Federal Way, Washington, who allegedly placed the CraigsList ad:
Young girl to play homeless girl in feature film. We are looking for a very pretty, sad eyed, deer caught in the headlights kind of girl ~ beautiful and sensitive.
According to KING5, she “helped pick the victims, interviewed them, arranged their travel and made them feel comfortable.” The Seattle Times reported:
District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said. . .when the women’s mothers called, Lucier. . .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.”
You can watch a Woodinville, Washington woman’s account of that “end result” on KING5’s web page. The indictment according to KIRO7 spells it out:
Brooks pretended to conduct auditions with the much younger women [Brooks, a stroke survivor, is 71; his 11 victims range in age from 18 to 30] at his [Manhattan] apartment, possibly using a drug, like Rohypnol, to daze the actresses. . .
In many cases the victims were forcibly raped. In many cases they were incapacitated. In some cases the victims were both forced and incapacitated with a large glass of wine.
New York detectives arrested Brooks on Tuesday on 91 felony and misdemeanor charges: rape, criminal sexual act, sexual abuse, assault, and grand larceny. If convicted, he could spend 25 years in prison. Lucier faces 9 misdemeanor counts of criminal faciliation and faces a year in prison.