Gay former Sesame Street actor Kevin Clash cleared of sex abuse charges

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Kevin Clash, the actor formerly behind the popular Sesame Street character Elmo for 28 years, has been cleared of all sex abuse charges.

Mr Clash, 53, was charged with sexual abuse by three men who said he molested them when they were minors, more than 10 years ago.

He resigned from Sesame Street in November 2012 after college student Cecil Singleton sued him for more than $5m (£3.30m), accusing the children’s show puppeteer of having sex with him when he was 15.

In July 2013, a New York judge threw out the charges against Mr Clash.

US District Judge John Koeltl said in his decision that the men waited too long to sue.

He said the claims came more than six years after each man reasonably should have become aware of Mr Clash’s alleged violations and more than three years after each turned 18.

On Friday it was announced the US Court of Appeals had upheld the ruling, dismissing the case because of the statute of limitations.

New York’s state’s statute of limitations means a lawsuit must be filed within six years of the event, or three years after a plaintiff turns 21.

Mr Clash had always strenuously denies the allegations, saying that any relationships he engaged in occurred between consenting adults.