Rape, Sexual Abuse, Assault, Forcible Touching and Grand Larceny are a few of the charges Joseph Brooks, 71, faces today after the indictment against him was unsealed. Shawni Lucier, 42, Mr. Brook’s assistant, was indicted on nine counts of Criminal Facilitation for her alleged role in the crimes. As Crotty Saland PC recently blogged, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Brooks allegedly raped and sexually assaulted eleven women in his upper east side apartment. It is further claimed that his personal assistant, Ms. Lucier facilitated the sexual assault of nine of these woman. Mr. Brooks had turned himself in on the charges, but Ms. Lucier will do so next week.
According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Brooks engaged in this conduct from a period between March of 2005 through April of 2008. The women, as young as 18 and as old as 30, went voluntarily to Mr. Brook’s apartment believing they were auditioning for an acting role. Prosecutors claim that Mr. Brooks flew many of these women into New York from as far as Washington State and Florida after they learned of the potential acting gigs on Craigslist. Once Mr. Brooks got the women into his apartment, however, they quickly learned there was no role to be had.
The Grand Jury indicted Mr. Brooks on:
Rape in the First Degree and Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree – punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Attempted Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree – punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Rape in the Second Degree, Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree and Sexual Abuse in the First Degree – punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
Rape in the Third Degree, Attempted Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree, Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree, Attempted Sexual Abuse in the First Degree and Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree – punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, Forcible Touching, and Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree – punishable by up to one year in jail.
The Grand Jury indicted Ms. Lucier on:
Criminal Facilitation in the Fourth Degree – punishable by up to one year jail.
It is never easy to get inside the head of a prosecutor, but looking at the culpability of both Mr. Brooks and Ms. Lucier as well as the disparity in the potential punishment, it is conceivable that Ms. Lucier may not remain a co-defendant of Mr. Brooks for long. Clearly, Mr. Brooks, not Ms. Lucier, is the main target of the indictment and Ms. Lucier may be able to use that fact to her advantage. Regardless of how the case plays out, each of these individuals need skilled, experienced and savvy criminal defense counsel to put forth their best and most compelling defense as soon as possible.