The Straits Times
Published on Nov 28, 2012

US man sues ex-Elmo puppeteer, claims NY abuse


NEW YORK (AP) - A man has sued a former Elmo puppeteer who resigned amid sex abuse allegations, saying the voice actor met him in New York a dozen years ago after trolling gay telephone chat lines seeking underage boys for sex.

The lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed on Tuesday in US District Court in Manhattan by a Florida man who remains anonymous, making him the third person to make claims against Mr Kevin Clash, who resigned from "Sesame Street" last week after 28 years.

Mr Clash had quickly denied the first claim, which was recanted the next day. But Mr Clash then resigned after a 24-year-old college student, Mr Cecil Singleton, sued him for US$5 million (S$6.1 million), saying the actor engaged in sexual behaviour with him when he was 15.

According to the latest lawsuit, a 29-year-old man said he met Mr Clash on a chat line when he was 16 and was exploring modeling opportunities in New York. It said the youth, then in high school, specifically stated on the chat line that his intentions were non-sexual. Still, the lawsuit said, Mr Clash pursued, posing as a 30-year-old man whose name was Craig even though he was a decade older.