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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
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Third Accuser Steps Out in Elmo Sex Scandal

MANHATTAN (CN) - "Sesame Street" star Kevin Clash invited a 16-year-old boy to an apartment decorated with Elmo toys for sexual encounters, a third accuser says in Federal Court.

Named in the complaint as "D.O." and "John," the plaintiff says he met Clash while trying to pursue a modeling career in New York.

John, now 27 or 28, is represented by the same lawyers behind Kevin Singleton, who last week accused Clash of "preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests."

Singleton's suit forced Clash to resign from "Sesame Street" after a 28-year career as the voice of Elmo. The 52-year-old puppeteer had taken a leave of absence a week earlier amid allegations that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy in 2005. That alleged victim, later identified in the media as Sheldon Stephens, told TMZ that Clash paid him $125,000 to settle his claims.

Like Singleton, the third accuser says he met Clash because the actor "trolled gay telephone chat line rooms to meet and have sex with underage boys."

"John went on a gay chat line to meet friends who were also gay," and not to find sexual encounters, according to this complaint.

Clash, who would have been about 40 when he was talking to the 16-year-old John in 2000, allegedly claimed that he was 30 and named Craig.

"John travelled from New Jersey into Manhattan to see Kevin Clash at his apartment," according to the complaint. "Kevin Clash gave John alcohol and groomed him. Kevin Clash and John engaged in sexual contact, including oral sex and digital penetration of John's anus. This was John's first sexual experience of this type."

While in Clash's apartment, John allegedly "saw numerous Elmo dolls and photographs of Elmo with famous people such as Beyonce and Tyra Banks."

John says he was not living in the New York vicinity after the initial visit, but that Clash called him "incessantly to arrange meetings for sexual encounters."

After he had turned 18 and graduated from high school, John moved to New York to pursue modeling and "engaged in a sexual relationship" with Clash, according to the complaint.

He allegedly learned that Clash "was the voice of the Elmo character" around this time after doing a search on the Internet.

Singleton, the plaintiff in the first complaint, has emphasized to reporters that he and Clash "did not have sexual intercourse until years later when I was an adult."

Though Singleton's complaint had been vague about the alleged sexual activity in which he engaged with Clash when he was underage, the young man elaborated at a press conference that the activity consisted of "groping, masturbation" and "dry-humping."

Like Singleton, John says he did not become aware of the extent of his psychological injuries from the underage encounter until this year.

"As a 16 year old child, John was not emotionally or psychologically prepared for a sexual relationship with a grown man in his forties," the complaint states.

"John did not become aware of his injuries, nor was he able to make a causal connection between his injuries and the sexual acts of Kevin Clash until 2012," he added.

John, who says he lives in Florida, is represented by Herman, Mermelstein & Horowitz in Miami, as well as Manhattan attorney David Azrin with Gallet, Dreyer & Berkey.

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