Former Elmo Voice Actor Cleared of Sexual Abuse Charges
The man behind the voice of the beloved monster Elmo on "Sesame Street" for nearly 30-years, has been cleared of sex abuse charges, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Kevin Clash, 53, was accused by a number of men of sexually abusing them more than a decade ago when they were minors. Although several lawsuits were filed and allegations and rumors surrounding the puppeteer, who was the mastermind behind Elmo for 28-years, popped up over the past few years, a New York judge threw out the three charges of sexual abuse, saying the claims were made too late as they were out of the state’s statue of limitations. The suits had to be filed within six years of the alleged abuse or three years after the plaintiff turns 21.
Since the allegations started in 2012, some of the accusers recanted their stories, claiming Clash had sexual relationships with them when they were underage. Nevertheless, in November 2012, the puppeteer resigned from "Sesame Street" in the wake of the scandal.
Clash’s three accusers brought their suits to the U.S. Court of Appeals, saying they suffered psychological effects from the abuse but it wasn’t realized until 2012. But as the Hollywood Reporter reports, the cases were dismissed.
Clash, who started voicing Elmo in 1985, has denied the allegations since the scandal first came to light, saying any relationships that occurred were between two consenting adults.