Last sex-abuse lawsuit against Elmo actor tossed

PHILADELPHIA - A judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed the last of five sex-abuse lawsuits filed against the puppeteer who voiced the "Sesame Street" character Elmo.

The ruling does not weigh the merits of the claims but says 25-year-old accuser Sheldon Stephens filed suit too late against actor Kevin Clash.

Stephens has publicly accused Clash of luring him into a sexual relationship when he was a minor.

Federal Judge Christopher Conner says Stephens failed to sue by age 19 under laws in New York, where their meetings took place. Stephens had sued in Pennsylvania, where longer time limits apply.

Clash's lawyer, Michael Berger, says Clash can now move forward with his life. He had resigned from "Sesame Street" amid the accusations.

Stephens' lawyer did not immediately return calls for comment.
 

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