By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — The number of women allegedlly sexually abused by disgraced composer Joseph Brooks has almost doubled after 12 new witnesses offered to testify against him at his trial, prosecutors said Friday.
The 72-year-old Oscar winner is charged with raping and sexually assaulting 13 aspiring actresses that he allegedly lured to his Upper East Side apartment with the promise of an audition for a musical.
Brooks was indicted in 2008. He won't be charged with the 12 new cases for a host of reasons including that their cases happened too long ago to prosecute, according to Assistant District Attorney Maxine Rosenthal.
Instead, the women could be called to the stand to testify against Brooks at trial, she said.
The surprise announcement stunned Brooks' lawyer who said Friday it was the first he was hearing of any other alleged victims.
"It is the first time that they have said they intend to call uncharged witnesses for other crimes," said Brooks' lawyer, Jeffrey Hoffman.
Hoffman added that he may seek to call to the witness stand some women who turned out for casting calls at Brooks' apartment and never had a problem with him. He added that he may need four or five more months to interview everyone he's considering calling to the stand, an estimate that prosecutors called absurd.
"As we get closer we can talk about a trial date intelligently, but right now it's just premature," Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Charles Solomon said.
Solomon ordered prosecutors to turn over a series of relevant e-mails they recovered from Brooks' computer.
Brooks allegedly used CraigsList to attract his victims, and also coordinated their visits with the help of his personal assistant, Shawni Lucier, who is charged with facilitating the sex crimes, prosecutors said.
Brooks' trial could happen as prosecutors prepare for the trial against his son, 24-year-old son Nicholas, who is charged with murdering his girlfriend, 33-year-old fashion designer Sylvie Cachay, on Nov. 9 at the SoHo House.
The younger Brooks is next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 8.