Belated Claims Against Elmo Actor Thrown Out of Court


     MANHATTAN (CN) – Three lawsuits filed by men who claimed to have had sex with Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash when they were minors were dismissed by a federal judge.
     In his 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl said plaintiffs Cecil Singleton, Kevin Kiadii and S.M. filed their lawsuit against Kevin Clash “more than six years after the defendant’s conduct with each plaintiff ended and more than three years after each plaintiff reached the age of majority.”
     “The plaintiffs’ claims are time-barred and must be dismissed,” Koeltl wrote.
     Kiadii was 16 when he allegedly accepted an invitation to come to Clash’s apartment for sex. He claimed Clash “trolled gay telephone chat line rooms to meet and have sex with under age boys.” Kiadii sued nine years after the alleged conduct and eight years after he turned 18.
     Singleton claimed in a lawsuit that he was 15 when Clash persuaded him to meet him for sex, and that the two were intimate over a number of years. “As a 15 year old child, Cecil Singleton was not emotionally or psychologically prepared for a sexual relationship with a grown man in his forties,” the complaint stated.
     He sued nine years later, and six years after turning 18.
     Doe, who is otherwise named as S.M. in his complaint, said he was 16 or 17 when Clash flew him from Miami to New York, and that the two engaged in a “variety of sexual acts” that he was “not emotionally or psychologically prepared for.” He sued 16 years after the alleged sexual acts and 15 years after Doe turned 18.
     Clash, who resigned from “Sesame Street” in November amid the flurry of allegations, moved to dismiss three complaints in March, claiming they were time-barred.
     The puppeteer won three Daytime Emmy Awards last month for his work on the PBS program where he was the voice of Elmo for nearly 30 years.
     All three plaintiffs had been represented by Herman, Mermelstein & Horowitz in Miami, as well as Manhattan attorney David Azrin with Gallet, Dreyer & Berkey. They reportedly plan to appeal.
     Another federal complaint against Clash from an unnamed male identified only as “D.O.” was dropped in April. Clash still faces a fifth lawsuit from Sheldon Stephens who was the first of the group to make such claims. Stephens reportedly returned a $125,000 settlement from Clash and then filed suit in March.

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