Source: Maria Elena Fernandez / NBC News
A New York federal judge on Monday tossed out three lawsuits by men who alleged former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash sexually abused them when they were underage.
In his 28-page decision, Federal Judge Kevin Koeltl said 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 lawsuits were filed within those time frames. The three men allege that when they were minors, Clash “induced them to engage in sexual activity.”
“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.
In their claims against Clash, who resigned from “Sesame Street” in November after 28 years, the plaintiffs said they had not realized they were victimized until they learned about each other last year, “and realized they were manipulated and it was an ongoing practice.”
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