Three sexual assault lawsuits against former Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash were thrown out of court on Monday on statue of limitations grounds, the Associated Press reported.
U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl ruled that the three plaintiffs — Cecil Singleton, Kevin Kiadii and another man who used an unknown alias when filing his suit — waited too long before coming forward with their individual claims.
“It should not be viewed as a vindication for Kevin Clash or a determination that he is innocent,” the men’s attorney, Adam D. Horowitz, told the AP. “We are considering an appeal of this decision. We are also still hearing from more of his alleged victims.”
Singleton’s November 2012 lawsuit, accusing Clash of engaging in sex with him when he was 15 years old, contributed to Clash’s leaving the show after 28 years, including a stint voicing the popular character Elmo.
“I think it’s a terrible loss that says victims of a situation like this have a limited amount of time to come forward,” Singleton told the Baltimore Sun on Monday. “It’s a terrible thing and it’s an individual process for someone to come to terms of what happened.”
Clash’s original accuser withdrew his lawsuit on April 15, 2013.
[Image: Kevin Clash and Elmo at “Employee of the Month,” by 92YTribeca via Flickr Creative Commons]