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Over the past few weeks, Hollywood’s collective attention has been focused on the allegations of sexual abuse fired against X-Men director Bryan Singer and several powerful executives. Lost a bit in that clutter has been a far older case of alleged sexual abuse that’s finally wrapped up. Kevin Clash, best known as the ex-longtime Elmo Puppeteer, is now officially off the hook in three cases after an appeals court threw out all the remaining claims against him.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the lawsuits were tossed because of the statute of limitations. All sex case allegations must be officially filed within six years of the alleged abuse or by the plaintiff’s 24th birthday, whichever comes later. None of the three allegations against Clash met that criteria, though lawyers for the men argued they should be given extra time since they blocked out the memories.
No doubt the ruling offers some peace of mind for Clash, though it doesn’t exactly do a ton to clear his name with the general public. Since the shocking allegations first broke, he’s vehemently maintained that the relationships between him and his accusers were between consensual adults. Regardless of what our personal code of morality might think, there is a giant difference in the eyes of the law between an older man having sex with a 15-year-old boy and an 18-year-old boy.
When the Clash accusations first went public, they drew a tremendous amount of publicity, thanks in large part to attorney Jeff Herman’s aggressive statements. He’s the same attorney who is representing the alleged victim in the Singer case, though just because he lost these doesn’t necessarily mean the others will get tossed as well.
At this time, there’s not any talk of Clash returning to his job voicing Elmo. Considering he wasn’t found innocent, merely not prosecutable, it’s unlikely that will happen, but if it does or anything else of note breaks in this case, we’ll be sure to bring you the updates.