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N.Y. songwriter suspected in rapes

NEW YORK, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The New York songwriter who penned the ballad "You Light Up My Life" is a suspect in five sexual assaults, police sources say.

Joseph Brooks, 70, who won an Academy Award for the hit song popularized by Debbie Boone in 1977, is being investigated for allegedly luring aspiring models and actresses to his apartment through ads on Craigslist.com, where police suspect he forced himself on them, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

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Police sources told the Daily News Brooks is a suspect in two rapes, a sodomy case and two sexual assaults. Brooks, also a movie director, is accused of hooking the women with the promise of parts in his next movie. Two alleged victims reported they were doped with date-rape drugs, although toxicology results have been inconclusive, the newspaper said.

The Daily News said Manhattan prosecutors are negotiating with Brooks' lawyer to talk with investigators, while Brooks himself declined to comment, other than to tell the newspaper he suffered a debilitating stroke about six months ago.

In addition to "You Light Up My Life," Brooks is a successful commercial jingle writer, penning tunes for Pepsi and Geritol, the Daily News said.

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