Forever In Your Mind boyband member claims his former manager is a pedophile who groomed and raped

A former Disney Channel star and member of the boyband Forever in Your Mind is suing his former manager and several other music industry executives, citing years of sexual abuse beginning when he was just 12-years-old.

Ricky Garcia, now 20, has accused his ex-manager Joby Harte, 37, of raping and sexually assaulting him ‘dozens of times’ during his pre-teen and teenage years, with the abuse allegedly occurring on a ‘weekly basis’ after his sixteenth birthday, a new criminal complaint filed in LA claims.

Garcia, who starred in Disney’s ‘Best Friends Whenever’, also claims Harte groomed him from a young age to be a ‘sexual plaything that could be passed around his friends in the business’, including his associates ex-APA agent Tyler Grasham and manager producer Nils Larsen.

‘Defendant Harte, the ringleader, employed the well-worn pedophile playbook of grooming and seduction,’ Garcia’s attorneys Ben Meiselas and Michael Popok write in the complaint, which was obtained by DailyMail.com.

‘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.’

Ricky Garcia, now 20, has accused his ex-manager Joby Harte of raping and sexually assaulting him ‘dozens of times’ during his pre-teen and teenage years, with the abuse allegedly occurring on a ‘weekly basis’ after his sixteenth birthday, a new criminal complaint filed in LA claims

Ricky Garcia, now 20, has accused his ex-manager Joby Harte of raping and sexually assaulting him ‘dozens of times’ during his pre-teen and teenage years, with the abuse allegedly occurring on a ‘weekly basis’ after his sixteenth birthday, a new criminal complaint filed in LA claims

According to Garcia’s attorneys, Harte’s alleged grooming techniques started out slow, including him talking to Garcia about his own sexuality, sexual history, before moving on to show him pornography and sex toys. However, the subtle advances later culminated ‘in Harte intoxicating [Garcia], stripping him naked and raping him’, the singer claims

According to Garcia’s attorneys, Harte’s alleged grooming techniques started out slow, including him talking to Garcia about his own sexuality, sexual history, before moving on to show him pornography and sex toys. However, the subtle advances later culminated ‘in Harte intoxicating [Garcia], stripping him naked and raping him’, the singer claims

Garcia, who starred in Disney’s ‘Best Friends Whenever’, also claims Harte groomed him from a young age to be a ‘sexual plaything that could be passed around his friends in the business’, including his associates ex-APA agent Tyler Grasham and manager producer Nils Larsen

Nils Larsen

Garcia, who starred in Disney’s ‘Best Friends Whenever’, also claims Harte groomed him from a young age to be a ‘sexual plaything that could be passed around his friends in the business’, including his associates ex-APA agent Tyler Grasham (left) and manager producer Nils Larsen (right)

According to Garcia’s attorneys, Harte – who owns Hot Rock Media – allegedly started out slowly with his apparent grooming techniques, which included him occasionally talking to Garcia about his own sexuality, sexual history, before moving on to show him pornography and urging him to try out his sex toys.

However, the subtle advances later culminated ‘in Harte intoxicating [Garcia], stripping him naked and raping him’, the singer claims.

Over the next few years, with his ‘defenses and psyche in tatters’, Garcia goes on to accuse Harte of abusing his client weekly, as well making him ‘available’ to be abused by Grasham and Larsen as well.

Garcia claims Harte would regularly get him blackout drunk, where he would awake the next morning naked next to Harte in his bed.

On one specific occasion, Harte is said to have organized a two-night ‘songwriting session’ on Catalina Island in 2014, without his Garcia’s parents present.

Garcia says Harte got him intoxicated on a lethal cocktail of tequila and vodka before he blacked out and woke up hours later in Harte’s bed.

When questioning his manager what happened, Harte apparently replied that Harte had undressed him and bathed him because he had vomited everywhere before blacking out.

Garcia (pictured in 2013) says Harte's abused started when he was just 12-years-old

Garcia (pictured in 2013) says Harte’s abused started when he was just 12-years-old 

Garcia formed FIYM with the help of Simon Cowell in 2013, after being eliminated in the X Factor's boot camp round

Garcia formed FIYM with the help of Simon Cowell in 2013, after being eliminated in the X Factor’s boot camp round

On one specific occasion, Harte is said to have organized a two-night ‘songwriting session’ in 2014, without his parents at Catalina Island. Garcia says Harte got him intoxicated on a lethal cocktail of tequila and vodka before he blacked out and woke up hours later in Harte’s bed. When questioning his manager what happened, Harte apparently replied that Harte had undressed him and bathed him because he had vomited everywhere before blacking out

On one specific occasion, Harte is said to have organized a two-night ‘songwriting session’ in 2014, without his parents at Catalina Island. Garcia says Harte got him intoxicated on a lethal cocktail of tequila and vodka before he blacked out and woke up hours later in Harte’s bed. When questioning his manager what happened, Harte apparently replied that Harte had undressed him and bathed him because he had vomited everywhere before blacking out

On his seventeenth birthday, Garcia said he was showering at a hotel resort when Harte got inside the stall and forced the teen the masturbated him until he ejaculated.

Grasham has been accused by Garcia of making sexually suggestive comments towards him and licking his toes, while Larsen is said to have grabbed his penis over his pants during a concert in 2016.

In the complaint, Garcia says he didn’t tell anyone about the experiences until March of 2018, because he was afraid speaking out would derail his career, and cause him to lose friends and his bandmates.

Eventually, Garcia let word slip to Harte’s ex-assistant, who in turn told his mother. 

When Garcia’s mother confronted Harte, he allegedly tried to pass it off as ‘horseplay’ but did not deny the allegations. Garcia claims Harte admitted he ‘did not behave like an adult.’

Garcia is suing Harte, Grasham, Larsen, Hot Rock Media and its CEO Joby Harte, Cohen/Thomas Management and its partners Sheri Andersen Thomas and Paul Cohen, as well as APA.

In the complaint, Garcia says he didn’t tell anyone about the experiences until March of 2018, because he was afraid speaking out would derail his career, and cause him to lose friends and his bandmates

In the complaint, Garcia says he didn’t tell anyone about the experiences until March of 2018, because he was afraid speaking out would derail his career, and cause him to lose friends and his bandmates

Garcia has since taken to Instagram to post a statement about the lawsuit

Garcia has since taken to Instagram to post a statement about the lawsuit

The 20-year-old accuses the companies of ratifying the assault by ‘fostering a sexually abusive culture in their offices’ and failing to take action to prevent the assault even though they knew or should have known that it had happened to others previously.

Grahsam was fired from APA in October 2017, amid several sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations.

Garcia, who formed FIYM in 2013 after being eliminated from the X Factor, has since taken to Instagram to post a statement about the lawsuit.

‘Today was one of the most difficult days of my life,’ the post begins. ‘Sadly, I know my experience is just one of many and I hope my actions today will help others who experienced abuse to know they’re not alone and that they’re people in this world fighting for them.

‘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.’

His attorneys also issued a joint statement to DailyMail.com today, condemning Harte for years of sexual abuse.

‘Our client, Ricky Garcia, was a preteen and teen music and acting star in the making. Tragically, and as alleged by him under oath in the complaint, 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.

In twisted fashion they inflicted injuries and shame on our client that have derailed his promising career and that will take him a lifetime to recover from. Mr Garcia has bravely stepped forward to join the #metoo movement, to reclaim his dignity and declare that victims like him must be heard.’

Joby Harte has not yet returned a DailyMail.com request for comment.

Source

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Related posts

Leave a Comment