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Boyfriend convicted of swimsuit designer's murder

By Rande Iaboni, CNN
updated 8:33 PM EDT, Thu July 11, 2013
Sylvie Cachay, pictured at a 2009 fashion show, designed luxury swimwear.
Sylvie Cachay, pictured at a 2009 fashion show, designed luxury swimwear.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nicholas Brooks is convicted of killing Sylvie Cachay in December 2010
  • Her bruised body was found in a bathtub in Manhattan's Soho House
  • Cachay's luxury line of swimwear was a celebrity favorite
  • Brooks faces up to 25 years in prison

New York (CNN) -- The boyfriend of a swimsuit designer found dead in a bathtub at a chic New York hotel was convicted of her murder Thursday and faces up to 25 years in prison, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said.

A jury convicted Nicholas Brooks, son of "You Light Up My Life" composer Joseph Brooks, in New York Supreme Court for strangling and drowning Sylvie Cachay in December 2010, the office said in a statement.

"Domestic violence victims all too frequently become homicide victims," District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said. "Sylvie Cachay suffered a terrible death at the hands of a man who claimed to love her."

Cachay's bruised body was found submerged in water in an overflowing bathtub at the Soho House club and hotel on December 9, 2010, police said.

A guest staying on a lower floor of the hotel reported to hotel management that water was leaking through the ceiling of that guest's room, according to court documents.

A hotel employee investigating the source of the leak entered Cachay's room and discovered her body, the documents say.

Her death was later ruled a homicide.

Authorities said they relied on interviews with hotel employees and surveillance videos from the location to charge Brooks.

Cachay's body had bruising on the neck and bite marks, police said. An autopsy indicated the designer suffered injuries consistent with neck compression, court records show.

Cachay had internal hemorrhaging, injuries to her scalp and cuts to her lips and mouth, the documents say.

Brooks is expected to be sentenced in court July 26 and could face up to 25 years to life in prison.

Calls to his attorney, Jeffrey Hoffman, were not immediately returned Thursday.

"Sylvie Cachay was one of those rare individuals who truly sparkled when she spoke," said publicist Kate Godici. "She will be deeply and painfully missed, yet celebrated, honored and never forgotten."

After heading the swimwear team at Victoria's Secret, Cachay debuted her own luxury line of swimwear in 2006 to rave reviews. The collection became a celebrity favorite.

Brooks' father, Joseph Brooks, 73, committed suicide in May 2011, New York police said. The Oscar-winning songwriter was facing 11 rape and sexual assault charges, New York Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told CNN.

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