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Abuse suits against ‘Elmo’ actor tossed

– A judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed the last of five sex-abuse lawsuits filed against the Emmy-winning puppeteer who voiced the “Sesame Street” character Elmo.

The ruling doesn’t weigh the merits of Sheldon Stephens’ claims against actor Kevin Clash. It says he filed suit too late.

The 25-year-old Stephens has publicly accused Clash of luring him into a sexual relationship when he was underage.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner says Stephens failed to sue by age 19 under laws in New York, where their meetings took place.

The 53-year-old Clash resigned from “Sesame Street” amid the accusations. Defense lawyer Michael Berger says he can now move on with his life.

Stephens’ lawyer, Jeff Herman, says Thursday’s ruling shows that abuse victims in New York need more time to file suit.

– Associated Press

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