Alleged Rapist and Oscar Winner Joseph Brooks Commits Suicide

Songwriter Joseph Brooks was found dead in his New York apartment on Sunday. He is believed to have taken his own life. The 73-year-old was found with a plastic dry-cleaning bag around his head, attached by a tube to a helium tank. Asphyxiation is the apparent cause of death.

Brooks was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday for a pretrial hearing on sexual assault charges. He was charged with attacking more than a dozen women, some as young as 18. Many of the victims were actresses who went to Brooks’ apartment believing he was holding auditions for a film role. Once in his home, Brooks allegedly drugged and assaulted them.

Brooks won an Academy Award in 1977 for the hit song “You Light Up My Life.” He reportedly used the Oscar to add to his credibility when luring victims to his home.