Boy Band Member Sues Ex-Manager for Alleged Rape, Claims Sexual Assault on ‘Almost Weekly Basis’


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A Disney channel actor and member of the boy band Forever In Your Mind has reportedly filed suit against his former manager and a host of others, claiming he was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted when he was as young as 12 years old.

Ricky Garcia, now 20, alleged that he was groomed to be a “sexual plaything” by ex-manager Joby Harte, who would then “pass around” to his industry friends, according to documents obtained by PEOPLE and first reported by The Hollywood Reporter and TMZ.

The defendants have not yet had the opportunity to respond to the complaint in court, and PEOPLE has been unable to reach either Harte or Larson for comment.

In the suit, Garcia claims he was raped and sexually assaulted by Harte “dozens of times,” and that the executive would show him porn and ply him with alcohol, after which Garcia says he would wake up naked the next morning beside Harte.

Harte allegedly organized an overnight “songwriting session” for Garcia’s band in 2014 in which such a sequence of events happened, and Harte allegedly told the singer he undressed him and bathed him after Garcia vomited on himself while blacked out.

The documents allege that by the time he was 16 years old, Garcia was sexually assaulted by Harte on a near-weekly basis.

Garcia also claims in the suit that on his 17th birthday, Harte entered his shower stall at a hotel and forced Garcia to masturbate him.

“Defendant Harte, the ringleader, employed the well-worn pedophile playbook of grooming and seduction,” Geragos & Geragos attorney Ben Meiselas writes in the complaint. “He targeted an economically and emotionally vulnerable pre-teen and his parents. He then groomed and seduced the child’s mother to have her lay down her defenses and give him unfettered access to her son, making her an unwitting accomplice to his depravity.”

In addition to Harte, the agency APA, former APA agent Tyler Grasham, manger-producer Nils Larsen, Harte’s company Hot Rock Media, Cohen/Thomas Management and its partners Sheri Andersen Thomas and Paul Cohen are all listed as defendants.

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Grasham, who was fired by APA in October 2017 amid unrelated sexual harassment and assault allegations, is accused of making sexually aggressive comments and licking Garcia’s toes in 2014.

Larsen, meanwhile, is accused of grabbing the young star’s penis over his pants at a 2016 concert.

Garcia says he didn’t voice the accusations until March 2018 because he feared the repercussions, though he eventually told Harte’s former assistant, who then told his mother.

Harte allegedly dismissed the allegations as “horseplay” when confronted, but admitted he “did not behave like an adult,” according to the lawsuit.

One day after filing the suit in L.A. County Superior Court, Garcia issued a statement on Instagram calling it “one of the most difficult days” of his life.

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“It was through the support of my family, friends, all my supporters, and most of …read more

Source:: People

      

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