For about the past half year, we’ve been hearing a whole lot about Kevin Clash, the man who provides the voice for Elmo on the popular children’s TV series Sesame Street, regarding the sex abuse claims that have been brought against him by 3 different accusers (tho, two other accusers have also filed lawsuits against him). After the first young man accused Clash of engaging him in an inappropriate sexual relationship while he was underage, two other accusers came forward with similar claims. After the second lawsuit was filed, Clash resigned from his job at Sesame Street. Earlier this year, Clash asked the ruling judge to dismiss the suits brought against him and today we learn … he was successful. The first 3 sex abuse claims that have been brought against him have all been dismissed!
A federal judge in New York, saying the statute of limitations had run out, has dismissed three lawsuits by men who said that the former “Sesame Street” puppeteer Kevin Clash sexually abused them when they were underage. In his 28-page ruling, dated June 28 and made public Monday, Judge John G. Koeltl said the plaintiffs — Cecil Singleton, Kevin Kiadii and an unnamed man with the initials S.M. — filed their claims “more than six years after each plaintiff reasonably should have become aware of the defendant’s alleged violations” and more than three years after each turned 18. The plaintiffs had argued that the time limit should begin once they realized they had been harmed, not the date of what they said was the abuse. But in his ruling, Judge Koeltl wrote, “The dates on which the plaintiffs connected their psychological injuries to their victimizations are irrelevant to the dates on which their claims accrued.” Even if the plaintiffs did not recognize the extent of their injuries, he wrote, “they were aware of the defendant’s conduct toward them and could have brought claims.” Jeff Herman, a Miami lawyer who represented the plaintiffs, said they planned to appeal, adding in a statement that “we believe that the victims in this case are within the statute of limitations” … In a statement, Mr. Clash’s lawyer, Michael G. Berger, said his client was pleased by the decision, calling it a step toward putting “these spurious claims behind him, so that Kevin can go about the business of reclaiming his personal life and his professional standing.” He added that Mr. Clash “is looking forward to a time in the near future when he can tell his story free of innuendo and false claims.” A spokesman for Mr. Clash, Nicholas F. Peters of the CommCore Consulting Group, said the puppeteer was not giving interviews. Another lawsuit from a plaintiff identified as D.O. was voluntarily withdrawn in April, and a fifth lawsuit, filed in Pennsylvania by Mr. Clash’s original accuser, Sheldon Stephens, remains outstanding. Sesame Workshop said it had no comment on Judge Koeltl’s ruling.
So, pending appeal, the first 3 cases have been summarily dismissed, the fourth case has already been withdrawn (which I didn’t learn until now) and the 5 case is still pending … tho, by the looks of the way this is going for Clash, it’s likely that that case will be sorted out in his favor as well. Because the cases have been dismissed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations, the cases will not move forward at all … meaning the allegations against Kevin Clash have been squashed altogether … meaning we won’t be hearing any of the alleged sordid details in open court. I, personally, felt that the accusations made against Clash were borne of financial gain, especially after the first accuser recanted his claim shortly after he made his claim and decided to go after more money. Honestly, we will likely never know if Clash acted inappropriately but his reputation has already been tarnished … possibly beyond repair. My guess is that he will continue to give voice to Elmo on Sesame Street since, essentially, he is still very much an innocent man … legally. But, there is still that 5th case … and who’s to say that other accusers (or opportunists) won’t come forward? For the sake of Elmo, I sincerely hope this nasty business is finished for good. Let’s hope we never have to heard the name Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo tied to any other sex abuse allegations.