On Monday, former Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash, aka Elmo, scored a victory in his legal dilemmas which involved several cases accusing him of child molestation.
The judge ruled that three accusers had waited too long to file their lawsuits. A plaintiff has six years after the cause of action or three years after they turn 21 to file claims, and none of the three were filed within those time frames, reports NBC News. The three men alleged that when they were minors Clash “induced them to engage in sexual activity.”
The first suit was filed by Cecil Singleton of New York, 25, in November 2012, who said that he and Clash engaged in an on-and-off sexual relationship that began nine years ago.
Others suits that followed included an unnamed 34-year-old Florida man who claimed Clash befriended him on a trip to Miami in the mid-’90s (when the man must’ve been around 15), and later arranged for the teenager to visit him in New York, where they engaged in sex for four days in Clash’s home; and Kevin Kiadii, 26, of New York who said Clash initiated contact with him on a gay chat line when he was 16 and invited him to his apartment where they engaged in sex.
Clash resigned from his job with Sesame Street after these men came forward with allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships, and has denied any wrongdoing.
“Kevin is pleased by the judge’s decision,” his attorney Michael G. Berger said in a statement. “As we have maintained all along, our goal has been to put these spurious claims behind him, so that Kevin can go about the business of re-claiming his personal life and his professional standing, which was recently recognized once again by the three Emmys he won last month. The judge’s decision to dismiss and close the three lawsuits is an important step in that direction. Kevin is looking forward to a time in the near future when he can tell his story free of innuendo and false claims.”
There is still one more hurdle, however. A lawsuit filed by 25-year-old Sheldon Stephens, of Harrisburg, Pa. is still pending,