Fla. man sues ex-Elmo puppeteer, claims sex abuseBy KELLI KENNEDY
The Associated Press | December 11,2012MIAMI — Another man on Monday sued the former Elmo puppeteer who resigned amid sex abuse allegations, claiming the voice actor befriended him in Miami and promised to be a father figure before flying the teen to New York to have sex with him.
The alleged victim is now the fourth to accuse Kevin Clash, who resigned from “Sesame Street” last month after 28 years. The three legal actions filed so far have been civil cases seeking financial compensation.
But the incident with the latest victim, referred to only as S.M., could involve criminal charges because the lawsuit claims Clash transported him across state lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.
Attorney Jeff Herman said he encouraged his client to report the incident to authorities but it’s unclear if the now-33-year-old alleged victim has done so.
Sexual abuse allegations against Clash triggered a media frenzy last month. He quickly denied the first claim, which was recanted the next day. But Clash then resigned after a 24-year-old college student, Cecil Singleton, sued him for $5 million, saying the actor engaged in sexual behavior with him when he was 15.
Singleton claims the voice actor met him in New York a dozen years ago after trolling gay telephone chat lines and seeking underage boys for sex.
In the latest case, the plaintiff said Clash approached him on Miami Beach, complimented his appearance and struck up a friendship. Clash returned home to New York, but stayed in touch with the teen, promising to be a dad to him. The youth, who was 16 or 17 at the time, had been molested by a teacher and was considering running away from home, according to the lawsuit.
“These are all vulnerable boys. None of them had father figures in their lives and they were looking for that father figure,” said Herman, who represents three of the alleged victims.
The lawsuit says Cash paid for a plane ticket from Florida to New York in 1996 and arranged for a car service to pick up the teen and bring him to his upscale apartment, where he gave him cash and showered him with “attention and affection” and ultimately engaged in numerous sexual acts.
Herman said he is poring over receipts and other documents to see if the car service was paid for by Cash’s employers at Sesame Street.
Messages left with a publicist for Clash were not immediately returned Monday.
“We’re confident in the actions that we took, but because this is now an issue between litigants, we’re not going to comment further,” said Ellen Lewis, a publicist for Sesame Street.
Herman said the alleged victims didn’t come forward sooner because they were afraid, but have found courage as others have spoken up.
He said they are compliant victims who participated in the sexual acts, but didn’t consent because it’s illegal for a minor to do so.
“Because they participated in the sex they feel like they’re doing something wrong ... they’re ashamed, they’re embarrassed, not something they really want to talk about,” he said.
Herman said he’s been contacted by several other possible victims and is vetting their cases.MORE IN Wire NewsSTOCKHOLM — Swedish poet and Nobel Literature Prize winner Tomas Transtromer has died at age 83,... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.