Kevin Clash has been cleared of yet another lawsuit involving underage sex abuse claims. A federal judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Clash, the puppeteer best known as the voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo, of engaging in a sexual relationship with Sheldon Stephens, now 25, during his visits to New York in 2004, when Stephens was 16.
Clash admitted to having a relationship with Stephens, but not when the aspiring actor and model was a minor.
A judge ruled on Thursday that the suit, which was filed last year, had not been filed within the statute of limitations in New York.
This is the fourth such claim against Clash that has been thrown out of court. A New York judge previously dismissed three other lawsuits against the entertainer by men who accused him of sexually abusing them when they were under age. Statute of limitations was also cited in the dismissal of those lawsuits. As of now, only one of the original five suits remains in the system against Clash.
A spokesman for Clash said, "Kevin is gratified that once again the courts have dismissed the claims against him. We believe we are finally at the point as a team where we can begin to turn our full attention to restoring Kevin’s personal and professional reputation.”
The accusations against Clash led to his resignation in 2012 from Sesame Workshop, where he worked for the past 28 years as the voice of beloved children's character Elmo.
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