In the eyes of the general public, people accused of sex crimes do not deserve much sympathy. Many people might go so far as to assume guilt in any case involving sex crimes, depending on the facts alleged. Needless to say, an accused person’s reputation goes straight down the drain in these cases.
That’s exactly what appears to be happening to long-time Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, 52, who has taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street to sort out the allegations and “protect his reputation.”
As Josh Grossberg reports for E! Online, Sesame Street said, “Kevin insists that the allegation of underage conduct is false and defamatory and he is taken actions to protect his reputation.”
Clash also said, “[The relationship] was between two consenting adults, and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not.”
In light of what Clash said, this case could turn on the age of the boy when the relationship began, and whether or not the relationship was sexual in nature. But even if all allegations turn out to be false, it’s hard not to acknowledge the blow to Clash’s reputation.
And who knows whether or not Clash will be able to resume his role as Elmo’s puppeteer.