Former Disney Channel star Ricky Garcia claimed his former manager sexually assaulted him for years.
The “Forever In Your Mind” band member said his manager let other pedophiles in the industry use him like a “sexual plaything,” according to a report published Thursday by Page Six.
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So please if anyone is out there right now going through something even remotely similar to what I went through, please, we all need to speak out about this– yes of course I want justice for the POS that manipulated me, but more importantly this is about saving anyone else who feels like they don't have a voice, because I can tell you this. YOU are not alone. This can can happen to anyone that you know. It's just a matter of talking about this to people and letting your close ones know that it's not okay. So if anyone knows anyone else that's going through this shit as well. It's so important to speak up for them????????
Garcia claimed the abuse by Joby Harte of Hot Rock Media began when he was just 12 years old. The abuse continued for years afterwards, a lawsuit filed in LA County Superior Court claimed.
Harte reportedly used the “well-worn pedophile playbook of grooming and seduction” to lure Garcia into spending time with him where the two talked about sexuality. Later, Harte would introduce the former Disney Channel star to porn. (RELATED: Former NBA Guard Mike Bibby Accused Of Sexually Assaulting School Teacher)
The manager allegedly then used alcohol to rape Garcia, according to the filing. At the age of 16, Harte was reportedly sexually assaulting the star “on an almost weekly basis.”
“High powered male entertainment industry executives, led by his former manager Joby Harte, who were responsible for nurturing his career, instead sexually preyed on his economic and emotional vulnerability, and sexually assaulted and raped him,” Garcia’s lawyers said in a statement.
The “X-Factor” contestant finally spoke out about the abuse in March after overcoming the fear of losing his career.
“Sadly, I know my experience is just one of many and I hope my actions today will help others who experienced abuse to know that they are not alone and that there are people in the world fighting for them,” he said on Instagram on Wednesday.