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Boyfriend gets maximum sentence in swimsuit designer's murder

By Rande Iaboni and Kristina Sgueglia, CNN
updated 7:08 PM EDT, Mon September 23, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • In July, a jury convicted Nicholas Brooks for the second-degree murder of Sylvie Cachay
  • Brooks has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison
  • Cachay's bruised body was found in an overflowing hotel bathtub in 2010
  • Brooks will be eligible for parole in 25 years

(CNN) -- The boyfriend convicted of strangling and drowning a famed swimsuit designer in a bathtub at a chic New York hotel was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, the maximum sentence for second-degree murder, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said Monday.

A jury convicted 27-year-old Nicholas Brooks, son of "You Light Up My Life" composer Joseph Brooks, in New York Supreme Court in July for the murder of his girlfriend, Sylvie Cachay.

"We have come a long way in our recognition and understanding of domestic violence, but there is much more we have to do to better protect individuals like Ms. Cachay," District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement Monday.

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

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

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

Brooks' attorney, Jeffrey Hoffman, said Monday he and his client plan to appeal.

"We expect to have a successful appeal and be back in court as a result of that," Hoffman told CNN.

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 when she was discovered, 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.

"Sylvie Cachay was one of those rare individuals who truly sparkled when she spoke," publicist Kate Godici said about Cachay in July when Brooks was convicted. "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.

Nicholas Brooks will be up for parole in 25 years.

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