Category: Society / November 27, 2012 4:48 PM EST
The puppeteer who used to play Elmo on "Sesame Street" faces a new accusation of having sex with an underage boy, a week after a similar allegation prompted him to resign from the iconic public television children's program.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday (November 27) in Manhattan, a man identified only as "John" alleges Kevin Clash engaged in oral sex and other sex acts with him when John was 16 years old. The suit seeks at least $75,000 (USD) in damages.
Attorney Jeff Herman, who is representing John in his lawsuit, explained why his client has come forward at this time.
"He's really torn," said Herman, who added that his client "thinks that Kevin Clash is an incredible man outside of his sexual demons."
"These other victims were being essentially persecuted by, not everybody, but people were not believing them and challenging their stories," said Herman.
"If sometimes if someone is being accused of something, if they come forward and just say 'yeah, it's true. I made a mistake', then victims don't feel the need to come forward. But in this case these victims, previous victims, were being challenged and so he came forward to support them," he added.
The newest allegation comes about two weeks after another man recanted his claims that Clash had sex with him when he was 16 years old. The man later said the relationship was consensual.
The Elmo character debuted on "Sesame Street" in 197.
While Clash was the third performer to animate the red monster, Sesame Workshop credits him with turning Elmo into an international sensation.