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Jury Finds In Favor Of Ricky Garcia In Rape Lawsuit Against Ex-Manager

A Los Angeles jury on Friday ruled in favor of former member of the boy band Forever In Your Mind Ricky Garcia in a rape lawsuit against his former manager, TMZ reported.

Garcia was sexually assaulted in her early teens by former manager Joby Hart. according to To TMZ. The court found Hart guilty of several charges, including childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Garcia filed the lawsuit in 2019, when she was 20 years old, and was ordered to pay a total of $6.5 million in damages. This amount consists of $5.5 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.

According to a report from TMZ, Garcia accused Hart of grooming and assaulting her over a period of several years, starting when she was 12 years old. The musician rose to fame after impressing Simon Cowell on Season 3 of The X Factor and then joining Forever in Your Mind. In addition to his music career, Garcia worked as a child actor and appeared in over 30 episodes of the Disney Channel series “My Best Friends Wherever.'' (Related: 'I Will Survive' Singer Gloria Gaynor Explains How This Song Was Her Own Story)

Garcia's lawsuit alleges that Hart orchestrated a so-called songwriting session that turned into a nightmare. The complaint also alleges that Harte would make Garcia intoxicated, and in one instance, she remembers waking up naked and unprotected in Harte's bed. Garcia added that she was forced to perform sexual acts before she was of the age of consent. He said Garcia remained silent for years because he was afraid of losing his career. According to TMZ, Garcia only found the courage to pursue legal action after confronting Hart with his mother.

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