Boy Band Star Sues Ex-Manager, Alleges He Was Groomed To Be ‘Sexual Plaything’ When He Was 12

Ricky Garcia, a former member of boy band Forever In Your Mind, is suing his former manager over blockbuster allegations of sexual molestation when he was as young as 12 years old.

According to court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the 20-year-old actor-singer has filed suit against former manager Joby Harte, alleging he groomed him to be a “sexual plaything that could be passed around to his friends in the business.”

According to Garcia’s suit, the abuse began when he was only 12 years old, after he and two other youngsters formed Forever In Your Mind following his elimination from Fox talent competition “The X Factor”.

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Garcia’s complaint, which was submitted Tuesday to the L.A. County Superior court, alleges that Harte raped and sexually assaulted him “dozens of times” when he was underage.THR also reports that Garcia’s suit identifies those “friends in the business” as former talent agent Tyler Grasham and manager-producer Nils Larsen, accusing Grasham of “making sexually aggressive comments and licking his toes” and Larsen of “grabbing his penis over his pants at a concert in 2016.””Defendant Harte, the ringleader, employed the well-worn pedophile playbook of grooming and seduction,” writes Garcia’s attorney, Ben Meiselas, 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 defences and give him unfettered access to her son, making her an unwitting accomplice to his depravity.”

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Garcia’s suit notes that he didn’t tell anyone about the alleged abuse until March 2018 as he was afraid of potential repercussions to his career. It was then that he told Harte’s former assistant, who told Garcia’s mother; the complaint alleges that Harte attempted to explain away the alleged behaviour as “horseplay.”

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, accusing the companies of “fostering a sexually abusive culture in their offices” and failing to do anything to prevent the alleged assault.

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the defendants for comment.

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