It’s a sunny day for ex-“Sesame Street” puppeteer Kevin Clash after a judge tossed three suits filed by young men who claim they suffered psychological damage from having sex with him when they were underage.
In a ruling filed this morning, Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl said that the men, all in their 20s, waited too long to sue the longtime voice of “Elmo” under a statute of limitations that requires legal action within “six years after the cause of action accrues, or three years after the plaintiff turns 21, which ever is longer.”
All three suits — which Koeltl noted contain “nearly identical” language — were filed between eight and 16 years after the men say they had sex with Clash while in their teens.
Clash resigned in disgrace after the first suit was filed last year, but the scandal didn’t stop him from winning three Daytime Emmy Awards last month, including outstanding performer in a children’s series.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but plaintiff Cecil Singleton, 25, of Harlem, said he wished he could have spoken to Koeltl personally to explain why he waited so long after his relationship with Clash, which he says began at age 15 when they met on a gay telephone chat line.