Final lawsuit against puppeteer Kevin Clash dismissed

By Jorie Goins,

Emmy Award-winning puppeteer Kevin Clash is finally done in court after the last of five lawsuits against him for sexual abuse was dismissed by a Pennsylvania judge on Thursday.

The Associated Press reports, that the lawsuit, filed by 25-year-old Sheldon Stephens, was said to have passed the statute of limitations in New York, where the alleged offenses took place. Stephens accused Clash of engaging him in sexual relations during visits to New York when he was 16. The New York statute of limitations states that the suit should have been filed by the time Stephens was 19.

The judge did not rule on whether Stephens' case had any merit.

Four other sexual abuse cases had been filed against Clash in New York, where he resides. The accusers all stated that the 53-year-old had engaged them in sexual relations while they were underage. According to The Guardian, a judge had also ruled that the statute of limitations had expired in these cases.

For more than 28 years, Kevin Clash voiced Elmo on the popular children's TV show Sesame Street. He was forced to resign in 2012 due to the accusations brought against him. After the ruling, Clash’s defense attorney Michael Berger told The Associated Press, “We're delighted with the result, and very happy that Kevin can go on with his life."

Stephens' lawyer Jeff Herman, meanwhile, said that they are debating appealing the ruling.

image courtesy of Walter McBride/INFphoto.com

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