A federal judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Kevin Clash, the puppeteer known for his work as the voice of Sesame Street's Elmo, of child sexual abuse.
It was the fifth of five lawsuits filed against Clash. Three other were dismissed by a judge in New York, and one was voluntarily withdrawn.
The lawsuit was filed by a man who accused Clash, a Dundalk native, of engaging in a sexual relationship during visits to New York that began in 2004, when the man was 16.
U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, dismissed the lawsuit on Thursday, ruling it had not been filed within the statute of limitations in New York.
The lawsuit was filed last year.
The New York judge also said the statute of limitations had run out in the three suits he dismissed.
Accusations against Clash led to his resignation in 2012 from the job he held for 28 years as the puppeteer who brought life to Elmo, the red, furry monster featured on the international children's television series.
“Kevin is gratified that once again the courts have dismissed the claims against him,” said Clash spokesman Nicholas Peters of CommCore Consulting Group. “We believe we are finally at the point as a team where we can begin to turn our full attention to restoring Kevin’s personal and professional reputation over the coming weeks and months so he may regain his rightful place as an accomplished and respected artist.”
Includes Baltimore Sun reporting on statement from Peters and history of five lawsuits.