A member of the boy band Endlessly in Your Thoughts claims his ex-manager sexually assaulted him for years and handed him round as a “sexual plaything” to different business pedophiles.
Former Disney Channel star Ricky Garcia, now 20, alleges Joby Harte of Sizzling Rock Media abused him from the age of 12 and all through his teenage years, in line with a lawsuit filed Tuesday in LA County Superior Court docket.
The supervisor used the “well-worn pedophile playbook of grooming and seduction” by initially having conversations with Garcia about sexuality, displaying him porn and later plying him with alcohol earlier than raping him, the swimsuit alleges.
By the point Garcia was 16, Harte sexually assaulted him “on an nearly weekly foundation,” the lawsuit claims.
Harte, 37, groomed the budding star as a “sexual plaything that may very well be handed round his buddies within the enterprise,” together with a former agent and a supervisor and producer, the swimsuit expenses.
The abuse “derailed” Garcia’s profession and can “take him a lifetime to get better from,” mentioned his attorneys Ben Meiselas and Michael Popok of Geragos & Geragos.
“Excessive powered male leisure business executives, led by his former supervisor Joby Harte, who have been answerable for nurturing his profession, as a substitute sexually preyed on his financial and emotional vulnerability, and sexually assaulted and raped him,” the attorneys mentioned in a press release.
The previous “X-Issue” contestant didn’t inform anybody in regards to the alleged abuse till March 2018 as a result of he was afraid he would lose his profession, the swimsuit says. He first informed Harte’s former assistant, who informed Garcia’s mom.
When confronted, Harte allegedly tried to brush the abuse off as “horseplay,” in line with the swimsuit.
In an Instagram put up on Wednesday, Garcia thanked his household, buddies and God for serving to him have “the braveness to talk out towards the executives who sexually abused me as a baby.”
“Sadly, I do know my expertise is only one of many and I hope my actions at the moment will assist others who skilled abuse to know that they aren’t alone and that there are individuals on this planet preventing for them,” he wrote.
Harte couldn’t be reached for remark Wednesday.