The man behind the voice of Elmo on Sesame Street has had the sexual abuse cases against him dismissed. The man, Kevin Clash, started the gig as Elmo’s voice in 1984 and continued it for 28 years, until he felt forced to resign after news of the cases surfaced.
Alan Duke with CNN quotes Clash’s lawyer:
“[O]ur goal has been to put these spurious claims behind him, so that Kevin can go about the business of reclaiming his personal life and his professional standing, which was recently recognized once again by the three Emmys he won last month…”
Note that Clash’s lawyer says Clash will go about “reclaiming” his personal life, professional standing, etc. In other words, Clash’s reputation was trashed, the sex abuse cases so damaging to his career and to his employer, to the point where he felt it necessary to resign his longstanding job at Sesame Street.
“Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing,” Clash wrote, “and I cannot allow it to go on any longer.”
While these cases were tort cases, not criminal, in which the plaintiffs alleged harm done to them of a sexual nature (akin to child molestation cases in Maryland), Clash had always maintained that the relationships were consensual.
Duke reports that the judge threw the sex abuse cases out due to the statute of limitations, in that the alleged sexual abuse occurred too long ago, the plaintiffs brought their cases many years too late.