After songwriter's death, aide still faces charges

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The sexual assault case against Academy Award-winning songwriter Joseph Brooks is ending with his suicide. But his former assistant is still fighting charges in New York City.

Shawni Lucier (LOO'-SEE-ur) appeared for a pretrial hearing Wednesday as a judge began formally closing the case against Brooks.

Brooks killed himself Sunday at 73. The "You Light Up My Life" writer had pleaded not guilty to molesting or raping 13 women lured to his apartment with the promise of acting auditions.

Prosecutors say the 43-year-old Lucier helped him screen the women and arranged their meetings with him.

Lucier, who is based in Federal Way, Wash., has pleaded not guilty to criminal facilitation. Her lawyer and prosecutors say they've been discussing a possible plea deal but have not made any agreement.