Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash Faces Third Underage Sex Allegation

Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, who resigned from Sesame Street before the Thanksgiving holiday after being hit with a second underage sex allegation, now faces a third, the NY Daily News reports:

2_clashThis time puppeteer Kevin Clash is facing a lawsuit accusing him of sexual activity with a 16-year-old in 2000. The accuser, now 29, will be filing a lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court Tuesday, says the man's attorney Jeff Herman.

He said the lawsuit is being filed as a "John Doe" because the accuser does not want to use his name. Herman said his client started writing a book in 2009 describing his experience with Clash.

The lawyer said he will have pages from that book at a press conference Tuesday to announce the lawsuit. Herman said the accuser is from the South and was in high school when he came to New York 13 years ago for modeling work.

Clash's accuser says they met on a gay chat line.

Comments

  1. John D says

    I don’t know about Paul R’s comment on statutes of limitations. There may not be a relevant one. Especially as 16 is the age of consent in New York. Okay, he likes (or liked) them young, but seems to have kept his hands out of their pants until they were legal.

  2. 99% says

    This s turning into a sad, sad story. I would like to believe that someone with power to sway children and young adults would not also be a sexual predator. I am waiting for this to expand to PBS management knowing.

  3. jj says

    If he is guilty, I wish people would stop calling him “gay.” If he’s guilty, he’s a pedophile.

    @PaulR: Do you think all those kids abused by priests shouldn’t be able to bring charges because of your “statute of limitations?”

  4. Dan B says

    @99%:
    He’s already resigned from PBS. At this point it’s only a question of whether he’ll face charges. In New York, as in a number of east coast states, the age of consent is theoretically 16, but since 16 & 17 year-olds are still considered “minors” in these states, adults who actually have sex with them can still be slapped with certain charges, leaving people like him in legal limbo. Since he’s facing a suit rather than criminal charges, he’s not facing jail time… yet. The news article doesn’t make clear the nature of the suit, so it may be something frivolous, but in any case the man has clearly shown poor judgement and has already lost his job over it.

  5. says

    I’m saddened, of course, and can’t understand why any adult gay male (or female for that matter) refuses to accept the fact that sex with 16-year olds is not acceptable. And the so-called justifiable excuses simply don’t play well: “He wanted it… (therefore its the kid’s fault)” “I THOUGHT he was 18 (but I never bothered to check)”

    OTOH, if 16 IS the legal age in NY and these trysts or affairs took place in NY then legally these guys, now some 10 years later, have no legal claim and the court should throw it out as frivolous. Clash would then have the right to return suit for malicious intent, perhaps defamation, loss of job (even if he did resign he most likely would have been dismissed just for the accusations), loss of income, harm to his reputation.

    What the hell was Clash thinking? This is a guy who panders and plays to children and could too easily be associated with the Gacy Clown mentality simply because he can’t keep his hands off 16YOs. Duh…

  6. says

    not to split hairs, but i think there’s a wee bit of a difference between a priest molesting a child and…well… a 16 year old on a gay chat line.

    but then again i’m not a catholic. is being an altar boy comparable to joining up, willingly, to go onto a gay chat line?

    i take issues pertaining to the abuse and manipulation of minors very seriously. i also take false accusations very seriously.

    i can’t wrap my head around a grown-adult wanting to engage in any form of relationship with a TEEN – age of consent “technicalities” and all. i’m 30. i wouldn’t date a 20 year old, even though that’s entirely legal! why? because i freakin’ remember what it was like to be a 20 year old, and all the crazy youthful immature emotional baggage that comes with it.

    i’ve said it before but i’ll say it again – there are some things that younger people should experience and figure out with other younger people.

    if Clash is indeed guilty of inappropriate conduct with any of these men then i hope a proper investigation gets to the bottom of it, and follows the law to the letter.

    but if nothing else it seems these gay chat lines need better age-verification processes. having never used a gay chat line (i suppose one of the benefits of being openly gay is that you tend to meet other comfortable and confident GAY ADULTS in a setting where adults congregate, eh?) i’m not sure what their process is.

  7. BobN says

    “If he’s guilty, he’s a pedophile.”

    If the kid was prepubescent at the time.

    “Pedophile” has a specific meaning and this case isn’t it. Stop blurring the lines.

  8. John Freeman says

    Oh, come on now. He met these boys on gay chat lines. Why were they there? Did he lie and say he was their age? Even if he did, they would have known right away that he wasn’t, but still they went through with it. I think its so unfair to come back at him now – years later. Because they want money? That’s taking free enterprise too far.
    I know its the gay American dream to come out through a glorious affair with a boy our own age, but in truth, how often does that happen?
    It did for me, but later there were men older than me who made me feel loved and special. Consider myself abused? I think not. I was lucky!

  9. Seamus says

    wow, maybe he should have asked for ID before having sexual relations with them… I mean, anyone can join a gay chat line and the guys could’ve lied about their ages. Seems they were willing to meet him. He didn’t, as of yet, force them to have sex. Seeing those pictures of the other two, looks to me like a set up to get money… not to get over some traumatic event.

  10. Billy Crytical says

    Blame this on the Catholic sex abuse lawsuits. These people didn’t come forward at the time because the culture of getting money from sex as teenagers wasn’t as great in 2000. Now they all see dollar signs and are “broken.”

  11. Paul R says

    “My” statute of limitations? You’re giving me a lot of credit for writing the law. Try getting molested at 7, 14, and 16. There’s also the issue that a lot of molestation involves strangers, which makes them difficult to sue. And male-on-male molestation is often dismissed.

    The penalties against priests have been almost entirely financial, not legal or judicial. The Vatican/church has paid the settlements. And no, I couldn’t get settlements at this point. There’s no pattern or record of abuse.

  12. Bill says

    Both the second and third accuser said they met on a gay chat line. Aren’t those advertised as being for people 18 years old or older? And don’t people use those chat lines to look for hookups? The stories sound fishy. It would be hard to believe that the only adult these two had sex with was Kevin Clash, so why aren’t they suing a lot of people?

    If the chat line was set up for younger teens and and an adult joined in, that would be a different situation, of course, but a “gay chat line” sounds like an adult-only one.

    I’ve got to wonder how credible these accusers are, and there is not enough information yet to say.

    Finally, PBS seems to be overreacting. There’s no evidence that Clash had any interest whatsoever of a sexual nature towards children in the age bracket that watches Sesame Street, and there’s no indication that he spent any time supervising children or being alone with them. You’ve got to wonder if his accusers misrepresented their ages, if having sex at the age they claim is true.

  13. Keith says

    I’m sorry, but this is yet another “victim” who is not seeking justice, but a paycheck. If he was so abused, why has he not gone to the police first? Why have none of these accusers gone to the police at all? Because none of them were abused and they know it. In my opinion, if Clash is guilty of one thing, it’s being a Chickenhawk. Plenty of straight adult men date and sometime marry girls under the age of 18 (Doug Hutchison, anyone?), but when a gay man does it, he’s always painted as a child molester. This as well as the previous accuser admitted meeting Clash on a gay chat line. Since most chat lines are for guys seeking guys for either dirty talk or sex, isn’t it possible that these teens were looking for the same? Teens are tried as adults in courts all the time. If they can be tried as adults in cases of assault and murder, why is it not possible that a sixteen-year-old could be actively seeking for sex with an older man?

  14. jj says

    @LittleKiwi, re: “not to split hairs, but i think there’s a wee bit of a difference between a priest molesting a child and…well… a 16 year old on a gay chat line….”

    True enough, but then where do we draw the line? An adult having sexual with a 16 year old, as the accuser appears to allege, is still wrong in my book. And, yes, yes, I realize that the 16 year old may have wanted to have sex with Clash….BUT HE’S STILL 16 YEARS OLD. His brain is still forming, for Christ’s sakes, he’s barely got a handle on his hormones.

    In a better world, he would have met a 17 year old to go off and play with on the chat line. He didn’t. He met a pedophile.

  15. says

    my point, JJ, is that if you want to compare a priest molesting a child in a church it’s a wee bit different from a teen logging onto a gay chat line.

    last i checked, you dont’ go into a catholic church expecting to get some sexing on.
    unless you’re a priest, of course. but i’m talking about the victims here.

    if what happened is true, then YES, i’m on your side. it’s like i said before, my 30 year old @ss wouldn’t EVER date or hookup with even someone as young as TWENTY, even though that’s perfectly legal.

    why? because it’s about so much more than mere technical legalities – i believe in being a good gay. and a good gay pats that randy young’un on the head, gives him condoms, and tells him to go romp with boys his own age.

    my point was simply that it’s not an apt comparison, boys in a church and boys logging onto a gay chat line.

    Clash was closeted 13 years ago, right? i know that closeted adults can often prey on younger people because they’re easier to control, and attempts to Control define a closeted person’s existence – just check out the nutbag trolls on this site, for example: adamant about protecting the elaborate personae of their internet handles.

    but that’s what you get from people who prey on the young – someone who wants to take advantage of the immaturity and emotional dependence of youth.

    i can’t understand a rational sane adult engaging in any form of relationship with anyone whose age ends in the suffix TEEN.

    heck, ever brought some cute and LEGAL twink home? eek. the worst part is when you wake up the next day and discover that not only have they already added you on facebook, they’ve proceeded to “like” everything you’ve said or posted for the last 5 months. and will continue to do so.

    leave. the. young. folks. to. each. other.

  16. gregory brown says

    @JJ: the kids are old enough to make the proper descriptive term “pederast”, not pedophile.

    Consensual sex with 15-16 year olds is illegal, morally questionable, but not something of the same magnitude as sex with someone too young to decide if he wants to do it. Clash is not in the same relative power relationship as a priest, teacher, scout master or other Authority figure would be.

    I think that somebody who is now an adult making these accusations and allegations ought to reveal his name. If he is prepared to risk ruining somebody’s life–somebody who may or may not be guilty, may or not be culpable, may or may not be responsible for emotional or physical damage–he should take responsibility for that “may or may not be” element.

  17. ratbastard says

    Sexual attraction to underage post-pubescent teenagers is not pedophilia, it’s pederasty. In fact, many adult men and women who’re are called pedos or pedophiles in the media [I’M NOT EXCUSING THEIR BEHAVIOR BY SAYING THIS] are really strictly speaking not pedophiles since their victims were post-pubescent, although still underage.

    This Clash character if what’s said is engaged in pederasty, not pedophilia, but of course they were underage and it’s still very much illegal and IMHO wrong in many ways.

    As for his latest alleged victim, he moved to NYC as a young teen to become a model? Seriously, this is becoming really cheesy.

  18. ratbastard says

    @Gregory Brown;

    Agreed. If the accusers are now adults, they should have to reveal themselves. These are serious charges that can totally ruin a person’s life, even lead to suicide.

  19. jj says

    @Gregory Brown, re: “Clash is not in the same relative power relationship as a priest, teacher, scout master or other Authority figure would be.”

    I hear what you’re saying, yet I’m really struggling with this. The fact that Clash is, let’s say, twenty to thirty years older than the kid he’s meeting…is that a position of power from the point of view of the kid? And did he tell him that he’s a big Sesame Street celebrity?

    If we look at something like “Dateline,” as trashy as it is, you could basically swap out the teen girls for teen boys and have the same situation that Clash is in., i.e., the kid “invited” the adult over, so it’s ok. I don’t know. Still struggling with this one. Gay youths are abused and taken advantage of in so many ways, and that includes the ones that think they’re all “wised up” enough to handle everything.

  20. jj says

    @Gregory Brown, re: “Clash is not in the same relative power relationship as a priest, teacher, scout master or other Authority figure would be.”

    I hear what you’re saying, yet I’m really struggling with this. The fact that Clash is, let’s say, twenty to thirty years older than the kid he’s meeting…is that a position of power from the point of view of the kid? And did he tell him that he’s a big Sesame Street celebrity?

    If we look at something like “Dateline,” as trashy as it is, you could basically swap out the teen girls for teen boys and have the same situation that Clash is in., i.e., the kid “invited” the adult over, so it’s ok. I don’t know. Still struggling with this one. Gay youths are abused and taken advantage of in so many ways, and that includes the ones that think they’re all “wised up” enough to handle everything.

  21. says

    ….although in the “Dateline” case it’s the older one that instigates it.

    and as far as i know they never had “teens” but TWEENS – 13 year old decoys.

    again, just the lil’details.

    look, here’s the thing – it aint criminal for a 50 year old to date an 18 year old. but i’ll call that B.S. out just the same.

    legal loopholes are odd. think the “logic” of the Three Rules from GREMLINS (go with me on this….) – what if the mogwai eats after midnight while crossing a time zone?

    what makes this girl “different” than yesterday, besides the legality that yesterday she was 17 and today she’s 18. does that mean that today she has a profound insight to life that she lacked yesterday, meaning she’s TOTES aware of the potentially-lifelong ramifications of shooting a porno video?

    its the same way i felt about “All Ages” nights at clubs. I hate the idea. it shouldb’t be ALL AGES – it should anyone up to age 25.

    because anyone over 25 who wants to hang around with a bunch of can’t-legally-drink-yet teens is pretty f***ing disgusting.

  22. octobercountry says

    Just wanted to add a bit of clarity. The age of consent varies from state to state; in New York it is 17, but in much of the United States it is 16. While I question the wisdom of a much older man dating a teenager, as long as the teen is over the age of consent in the area where the physical activity is taking place, no laws are being broken.

    Sounds to me like these young men are trying to take Clash for as much money as they can get. I’m hoping that he did NOT take advantage of any underage youths; that this will all turn out to be a scam. However, there’s no doubt that Clash showed terrible judgment—to a ridiculous degree—when he (as a high-profile performer on a children’s television show) became involved with teenagers in the first place.

  23. Francis says

    First of all, as a few people have said already, this isn’t pedophilia. It’s ephebophilia. A desire for late adolescents, between 15-19 years old. It’s not in the DSM so it’s not officially illness, and in several states and countries, having sex with a 16/17 year old isn’t illegal. By late adolescence, a teen is more physically and mentally developed, and the “taking advantage of a kid” aspect isn’t the same, and in a way isn’t there at all (yes, a kid at 16 doesn’t really know what they want and are just horny and seeking sex without thinking of the responsibility, but at the end of the day, they’re the ones initiating the sex and lying about their ages to get it). Personally, I think it’s completely gross, I don’t understand the attraction towards older teens or really anyone not 21+, but yeah, those are the facts.

    Now to get back on topic, of course these accusers are using Mr. Clash for money. It’s not a surprise, it’s very unfortunate, and they’re destroying Mr. Clash’s life and reputation to get paid. They’re not saints at all, and everything that Mr. Clash has been accused of should be taken with a grain of salt. Whenever you see leaches like this coming out of the woodwork seeking fame and cash, it’s best to not take their word seriously unless and until they prove their accusations.

  24. says

    see also: michael jackson continually putting himself in situations where accusations could potentially occur.

    that said, remember Bo Derek’s story? john derek moved her to GERMANY so they could boink free from the american statutory rape laws.

    Hefner “dating” (marrying?) multiple 18 year olds?

    James Woods? Billy Joel? Jerry Seinfeld dating that high school girl (that my teenage mind kept confusing with Monica Lewinsky)?

    R. Kelly, who married Aaliyah when she was 15, and then …well… there was *that* video of his, to boot.

    it’s very interesting the way the public chooses which ones to be angriest about.

    oh, and roman polanski drugged and raped a 13 year old.

  25. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Paul R: “There’s also the issue that a lot of molestation involves strangers, which makes them difficult to sue. And male-on-male molestation is often dismissed.”

    There’s also the issue that the majority of molestation involves non-strangers, which makes them even more difficult to sue – especially the relatives. Sadly, too many people believe the only sex crimes are males vaginally penetrating females.

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