Songwriter Brooks apparently kills himself in NYC

By the Associated Press | May 22, 2011 | 2:43 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Police say Grammy-winning songwriter Joseph Brooks is dead of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan apartment.

The 73-year-old Brooks was arrested in 2009 on charges of molesting women lured to his apartment for supposed acting auditions. He pleaded not guilty to rape and other charges, and was awaiting trial.

Books won a Grammy and Academy Award for best original song for the 1977 ballad "You Light Up My Life." He wrote and directed the movie of the same name.

Police say Brooks was found Sunday with a plastic dry-cleaning bag around his head and a towel wrapped around his neck. There also was a helium tank with a hose attached.

An autopsy will determine the cause of death. Police say a suicide note was found but they didn't reveal its contents.