Former Disney Channel star Ricky Garcia has become the latest child star to blow the whistle on the Hollywood pedophilia epidemic, accusing his former manager of sexually assaulting him for years and allowing other Hollywood pedophiles to use him as a “sexual plaything.”
Garcia claimed the abuse by Joby Harte of Hot Rock Media began when he was just 12 years old, according to a report published Thursday by Page Six. 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.
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.