NEW YORK — Nicholas Brooks was indicted Thursday by a Manhattan grand jury in the death of his former girlfriend, Sylvie Cachay, but the specific charges will not be detailed until his next court appearance on Jan. 4. The indictment will remain sealed until that time.
This story first appeared in the December 17, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Through his attorney, the 24-year-old waived his right to appear in court, but members of the victim’s family were on hand to hear the indictment. To pay tribute to Cachay, they wore buttons with photographs of her.
During Thursday’s proceedings, assistant district attorney Jordan Arnold did not detail the charges. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the exact charges.
At press time, Brooks’ attorney, Jeffrey C. Hoffman, had not responded to requests for comment.
Last week, Brooks was charged with second-degree attempted murder and second-degree strangulation. Cachay’s death must be ruled a homicide in order for him to face murder charges. After an initial autopsy report came back inconclusive, further tissue and toxicology tests were requested by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office. The second round of tests is expected to be released in a week or so.
Cachay, who started and designed Syla swimwear until the company closed in 2008, was found dead and partially clothed in a bathtub at the Soho House last week. She and Brooks had checked into the private club after midnight, according to the complaint against Brooks released last week by the district attorney’s office. There were signs of injury on Cachay’s neck, eyes, scalp and inside her mouth that were consistent with neck compression.
Going forward, Cachay’s family and friends plan to have a strong courtroom presence, according to Lesa Wright McHale, a friend and former publicist for the swimwear designer. “There will be a united front in support of Sylvie. Definitely,” she said.
In addition, they have established the Sylvie Cachay Memorial Project, a charitable foundation designed to provide assistance and education for women in abusive relationships and to help finance young artists and designers, among other initiatives.
Cachay had reportedly tried to end her relationship with Brooks, but a note he had written to her that was found in her purse indicated that he did not believe the relationship was actually over, according to one source.