PDA

View Full Version : Voice of Elmo on leave from Sesame Street after he was accused of having 'sexual rela



Rockntractor
11-12-2012, 10:26 AM
By Jill Reilly

PUBLISHED: 06:51 EST, 12 November 2012 | UPDATED: 08:14 EST, 12 November 2012

The man who voices the puppet of Elmo on Sesame Street has taken leave amid allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy.

Kevin Clash, 52, has taken a leave of absence from the popular children's show after the programme's lawyers were contacted by a 23-year-old man who claims he had a sexual relationship with the puppeteer seven years ago, when he was aged 16.

TMZ, who reported the allegations, said that Mr Clash had admitted he had a relationship with the man, but only after the accuser was an adult and said the accusations were both false and defamatory.
'I had a relationship with [the accuser]. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not,' said Mr Clash who joined Sesame Street in the mid-80s,

The website reported that after the accuser's initial meeting with Sesame Street lawyers, he felt that that he was being silenced so he hired a lawyer.

He is now being represented by Andreozzi and Associates - the firm that worked with one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky child rape case.
In August, the accuser's lawyers wrote a letter to Sesame Street accusing the programme of trying to 'discredit the victim in order to protect its employee and the image of one of its most valuable characters,'

The letter also claimed the show's attitude 'places a greater value on a puppet than the well being of a young man.'

But Sesame Workshop officials told TMZ they found the the allegation of underage sex was unsubstantiated after a thorough investigation. Read More>
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2231695/Kevin-Clash-Voice-Sesame-Streets-Elmo-accused-having-sexual-relationship-underage-boy.html

m00
11-12-2012, 10:46 AM
Hard to say whether it's a cash-grab / false accusation, or a sesame street cover-up.

Odysseus
11-12-2012, 11:11 AM
I knew that any toy that demands to be repeatedly tickled by minors was up to no good...

Novaheart
11-12-2012, 11:48 AM
This sort of thing is why we have a statute of limitations and why regardless of the emotionally driven concern for such things, that statute should not be undone simply because it pertains to allegations of sex crimes. What is to stop anyone from accusing someone from their past, especially someone who might have a few bucks or a political position, of having unlawful sex or sexual contact with them at an earlier time?

Rockntractor
11-12-2012, 11:57 AM
This sort of thing is why we have a statute of limitations and why regardless of the emotionally driven concern for such things, that statute should not be undone simply because it pertains to allegations of sex crimes. What is to stop anyone from accusing someone from their past, especially someone who might have a few bucks or a political position, of having unlawful sex or sexual contact with them at an earlier time?

I didn't know there was a statute of limitation in child rape cases, why would the lawyer even take the case in such a circumstance?

Novaheart
11-12-2012, 12:05 PM
I didn't know there was a statute of limitation in child rape cases, why would the lawyer even take the case in such a circumstance?

It wouldn't be child rape even if it's true. If I have read New York law correctly would be a class E felony, the lowest class of felony.


S 130.55 Sexual abuse in the third degree.
A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the third degree when he or she subjects another person to sexual contact without the latter`s consent; except that in any prosecution under this section, it is an affirmative defense that (a) such other person`s lack of consent was due solely to incapacity to consent by reason of being less than seventeen years old, and (b) such other person was more than fourteen years old, and (c) the defendant was less than five years older than such other person. Sexual abuse in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor.

S 130.40 Sodomy in the third degree.
A person is guilty of sodomy in the third degree when: 1. He or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with a person who
is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than seventeen years old; 2. Being twenty-one years old or more, he or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than seventeen years old; or 3. He or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person without such person`s consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent. Sodomy in the third degree is a class E felony.

S 130.25 Rape in the third degree.
A person is guilty of rape in the third degree when: 1. He or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is
incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than seventeen years old; 2. Being twenty-one years old or more, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person less than seventeen years old; or 3. He or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person without such person`s consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent. Rape in the third degree is a class E felony.

Source: New York Consolidated Laws, (http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?cl=82&a=29) updated as of (As of 3/1/2002)

Rockntractor
11-12-2012, 12:06 PM
Hard to say whether it's a cash-grab / false accusation, or a sesame street cover-up.

Of course this is bogus, Elmo is clearly gender neutral.
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/elmo_1.jpg

Novaheart
11-12-2012, 12:15 PM
I didn't know there was a statute of limitation in child rape cases, why would the lawyer even take the case in such a circumstance?

As for the statute of limitations it appears a bit convoluted (ie the way lawyers like it) . In general the SOL is five years for "all other felonies" which would suggest that it has expired. However, what I have read says that it might apply from the day the plaintiff turned 18 in which case it might explain why he's making a move at 23 for something he claims happened at age 16.

However, it doesn't look like plaintiff is trying to have Clash arrested, it would appear they are trying to get money from Sesame Street or Clash. I don't know how the SOL would apply to a civil suit.

djones520
11-12-2012, 12:35 PM
I didn't know there was a statute of limitation in child rape cases, why would the lawyer even take the case in such a circumstance?

There certainly is. By the time I was "ready" to talk about how I was sexually assaulted as a child all statute of limitations had passed.

It's a sticky issue. I know there are a lot like me who take a while to come forth about it, but by then how is the state supposed to present any evidence other then the word of the victim?

Rockntractor
11-12-2012, 12:58 PM
There certainly is. By the time I was "ready" to talk about how I was sexually assaulted as a child all statute of limitations had passed.

It's a sticky issue. I know there are a lot like me who take a while to come forth about it, but by then how is the state supposed to present any evidence other then the word of the victim?

I wonder how much this varies from state to state

djones520
11-12-2012, 01:18 PM
I wonder how much this varies from state to state

As far as I'm aware every state has a statute. I only remember checking the specific states that it would have been pertinent in for my situation. It was a relatively simple thing to google though.

Novaheart
11-12-2012, 01:32 PM
I wonder how much this varies from state to state


As far as I'm aware every state has a statute. I only remember checking the specific states that it would have been pertinent in for my situation. It was a relatively simple thing to google though.

As I understand it, Maryland did away with the statute of limitations for felony sex crimes after a particularly emotional case. However, the age of consent in Maryland is 16 (as it is in some other states) so I don't think this case would fall under SOL considerations.

djones520
11-12-2012, 02:14 PM
As I understand it, Maryland did away with the statute of limitations for felony sex crimes after a particularly emotional case. However, the age of consent in Maryland is 16 (as it is in some other states) so I don't think this case would fall under SOL considerations.

Did this occur in Maryland? Every story I've seen on it doesn't mention the state, which would be integral to whether there is an actual case here.

If it occured as the Elmo guy says it did, perfectly legally, then I'm getting the feeling the guy came forward for the money.

Novaheart
11-12-2012, 03:56 PM
Did this occur in Maryland? Every story I've seen on it doesn't mention the state, which would be integral to whether there is an actual case here.

If it occured as the Elmo guy says it did, perfectly legally, then I'm getting the feeling the guy came forward for the money.

I guessed that it would have happened in New York where Clash lives and considering that the Joan Ganz Center has a 212 area code. I only mentioned Maryland because we we're talking about statutes of limitations varying from state to state as well as age of consent.

Elspeth
11-12-2012, 05:01 PM
This sort of thing is why we have a statute of limitations and why regardless of the emotionally driven concern for such things, that statute should not be undone simply because it pertains to allegations of sex crimes. What is to stop anyone from accusing someone from their past, especially someone who might have a few bucks or a political position, of having unlawful sex or sexual contact with them at an earlier time?

Yes, thanks to the Catholic Church, among other ill-intentioned entities, there are statutes that prevent traumatized child victims from hauling their rapists and abusers into court when they have reached an age, mental state, and level of emotional support that allows them to do so.

I have met twenty-somethings who can't go after the stepfathers who raped them at 12 because of such laws.

I am all for extending the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse.

That being said, Elmo's "voice" is innocent until proven guilty. If he indeed had sex with a 16-year old, that is statutory rape and criminal charges should be filed if the statute of limitations has not run out. If the statute has run out, then financial damages may be all that this young man can collect, so I would not be so quick to assume this young man is lying because he hasn't filed criminal charges.

djones520
11-12-2012, 05:29 PM
It depends on the state whether or not it is statutory. As Nova pointed out, in Maryland it would have been perfectly legal.

Also, material supporting your claim that the Catholic church was behind the statutes? I can understand the correlation, but that's a mighty strong accusation.

If this occured in the state of New York, as Nova says is likely, then this man can be considered guilty of Sodomy in the Third degree, possibly Rape in the Third degree as well. They're seperate laws, but not sure if they can be charged together in the case of a male victim. *shrugs*

Elspeth
11-12-2012, 05:37 PM
It depends on the state whether or not it is statutory. As Nova pointed out, in Maryland it would have been perfectly legal.

Also, material supporting your claim that the Catholic church was behind the statutes? I can understand the correlation, but that's a mighty strong accusation.

In California and certain other states, the Catholic hierarchy (not the rank and file like me) actually worked against increasing the statute of limitations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/us/sex-abuse-statutes-of-limitation-stir-battle.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

While the first criminal trial of a Roman Catholic church official accused of covering up child sexual abuse has drawn national attention to Philadelphia, the church has been quietly engaged in equally consequential battles over abuse, not in courtrooms but in state legislatures around the country.

The fights concern proposals to loosen statutes of limitations, which impose deadlines on when victims can bring civil suits or prosecutors can press charges. These time limits, set state by state, have held down the number of criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits against all kinds of people accused of child abuse — not just clergy members, but also teachers, youth counselors and family members accused of incest.

Victims and their advocates in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York are pushing legislators to lengthen the limits or abolish them altogether, and to open temporary “windows” during which victims can file lawsuits no matter how long after the alleged abuse occurred.

The Catholic Church has successfully beaten back such proposals in many states, arguing that it is difficult to get reliable evidence when decades have passed and that the changes seem more aimed at bankrupting the church than easing the pain of victims.

Already reeling from about $2.5 billion spent on legal fees, settlements and prevention programs relating to child sexual abuse, the church has fought especially hard against the window laws, which it sees as an open-ended and unfair exposure for accusations from the distant past. In at least two states, Colorado and New York, the church even hired high-priced lobbying and public relations firms to supplement its own efforts. Colorado parishes handed out postcards for churchgoers to send to their representatives, while in Ohio, bishops themselves pressed legislators to water down a bill.

The outcome of these legislative battles could have far greater consequences for the prosecution of child molesters, compensation of victims and financial health of some Catholic dioceses, legal experts say, than the trial of a church official in Philadelphia, where the jury is currently deliberating.

Changing the statute of limitations “has turned out to be the primary front for child sex abuse victims,” said Marci A. Hamilton, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University who represents plaintiffs in sexual abuse suits.

“Even when you have an institution admitting they knew about the abuse, the perpetrator admitting that he did it, and corroborating evidence, if the statute of limitations has expired, there won’t be any justice,” she said.

The church’s arguments were forcefully made by Patrick Brannigan, executive director of the New Jersey Catholic Conference, in testimony before the State Legislature in January opposing a proposal to abolish the limits in civil cases.

“How can an institution conceivably defend itself against a claim that is 40, 50 or 60 years old?” Mr. Brannigan said. “Statutes of limitation exist because witnesses die and memories fade.”

“This bill would not protect a single child,” he said, while “it would generate an enormous transfer of money in lawsuits to lawyers.”

(-Elsepth's note: Look at how misleading that statement is. Advocates for sexually abused children are trying to make sure rapists and molesters of children can be criminally prosecuted. THAT is the result they are looking for. They are not claiming that they are trying to protect potential victims. It is the Church itself that should be doing that.


Timing is a major factor in abuse cases because many victims are unable to talk about abuse or face their accusers until they reach their 30s, 40s or later, putting the crime beyond the reach of the law. In states where the statutes are most restrictive, like New York, the cutoff for bringing a criminal case is age 23 for most serious sexual crimes other than rape that occurred when the victim was a minor.

In more than 30 states, limits have already been lifted or significantly eased on the criminal prosecutions of some types of abuses, according to Professor Hamilton. The Supreme Court ruled that changes in criminal limits cannot be retroactive, so they will affect only recent and future crimes.

In New York, the Catholic bishops said they would support a modest increase in the age of victims in criminal or civil cases, to 28. But their lobbying, along with that of ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders, has so far halted proposals that would allow a one-year window for civil suits for abuses from the past. The bishops say the provision unfairly targets the church because public schools, the site of much abuse, and municipalities have fought successfully to be exempted.

The New Jersey proposal to abolish time limits for civil suits could pass this summer, said its sponsor in the Senate, Joseph Vitale, a Democrat of Woodbridge. The main opposition has come from the Catholic Church, he said. Mr. Brannigan of the Catholic Conference has testified at hearings, and bishops have “reached out to scores of legislators,” Mr. Vitale said, warning that an onslaught of lawsuits could bankrupt their dioceses.

California was the first state to pass a one-year “window” law to bring civil suits, in 2003, and those involved say that the legislation moved so quickly that the church barely responded. But the experience proved a cautionary tale for the church: more than 550 lawsuits flooded in.

Since then, only two states have passed similar laws: Delaware, in 2007, and Hawaii, in April. Window legislation has been defeated in Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and New York.

Joan Fitz-Gerald, former president of the Colorado Senate, who proposed the window legislation, was an active Catholic who said she was stunned to find in church one Sunday in 2006 that the archdiocese had asked priests to raise the issue during a Mass and distribute lobbying postcards.

“It was the most brutal thing I’ve ever been through,” she said of the church campaign. “The politics, the deception, the lack of concern for not only the children in the past, but for children today.” She has since left the church.

The Massachusetts Catholic Conference has spoken out strongly against a bill that would eliminate both criminal and civil statutes of limitations, but advocates still hope to win a two-year window for filing civil claims.

If that happens, “we’ll see a lot more victims come forward, and we’ll find out more about who the abusers are,” said Jetta Bernier, director of the advocacy group Massachusetts Citizens for Children.

The landmark trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn in Philadelphia, who is accused of allowing predators to remain in ministry, almost did not happen because of the statute of limitations.

A scathing grand jury report in 2005 described dozens of victims and offending priests and said that officials, including Philadelphia’s cardinal, had “excused and enabled the abuse.” But the law in place at the time of the crimes required victims to come forth by age 23. “As a result,” the report said, “these priests and officials will necessarily escape criminal prosecution.”

But victims emerged whose abuse fell within the deadline and in 2011, a new grand jury brought charges against Monsignor Lynn, who had supervised priest assignments.

Pennsylvania expanded the limits, and for crimes from 2007 on, charges will be possible up to the time that victims reach age 50. Advocates are now pushing to abolish the statute of limitations for child sex abuse and open a window for civil suits over long-past abuses. But the legislation appears stalled in the face of church opposition.

The new archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles J. Chaput, who led the successful campaign to defeat such a bill in Colorado, says that current restrictions exist for “sound legal reasons.”

Elspeth
11-12-2012, 05:43 PM
Also:


Catholic Church Fights to Kill PA's Statute of Limitation Reform (http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/cover-story/138884039.html)

Catholic Church Fighting Loosening of Sex Abuse Statute of Limitation Laws (http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/catholic-church-fighting-loosening-of-sex-abuse-statute-of-limitation-laws?news=844642)

Deadlines on child sexual abuse complaints may be extended (http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/05/31/limitation-child-sexual-abuse-complaints-may-extended/CdtgMuueUwIYs6iPbmFJnJ/story.html)

Sex Abuse Victims Lose California Appellate Ruling (http://blogs.alternet.org/witchjoey/2012/03/29/sex-abuse-victims-lose-california-appellate-ruling/)

NJCardFan
11-12-2012, 06:22 PM
This sort of thing is why we have a statute of limitations and why regardless of the emotionally driven concern for such things, that statute should not be undone simply because it pertains to allegations of sex crimes. What is to stop anyone from accusing someone from their past, especially someone who might have a few bucks or a political position, of having unlawful sex or sexual contact with them at an earlier time?

OK, so in other words, to your logic, Jerry Sandusky should have been allowed to walk. Gotcha.

Chex
11-12-2012, 07:18 PM
Too bad it wasn't Big Bird.

Novaheart
11-12-2012, 07:18 PM
In California and certain other states, the Catholic hierarchy (not the rank and file like me) actually worked against increasing the statute of limitations.

The Catholic Church is a big target and deep pocket, as well as being quite unpopular in some circles which might include a great many lawmakers. It would not necessarily be damning if the Catholic Church worked to keep statutes of limitations in place. Surely Dow Chemical and Exxon have also worked to keep statutes of limitations in effect to prevent aggressive and zealous environmentalists from attacking them on every imaginable legal front.

And BTW, it annoys me to have to come to the defense of the Vatican and its minions, but I will also point out that a tiny fraction of priests have even been accused of sexual impropriety (of any sort) and amongst those who have, many of the allegations have failed to be proven.

Rockntractor
11-12-2012, 07:26 PM
Too bad it wasn't Big Bird.

Wheat Chex, Rice Chex, Corn Chex? I like Chex mix.

Novaheart
11-12-2012, 07:43 PM
OK, so in other words, to your logic, Jerry Sandusky should have been allowed to walk. Gotcha.

Was Sandusky charged with the lowest felony classification?
Was Sandusky at most guilty of statutory rape of a person who could have consented to sex in the state of Pennsylvania (age of consent in PA is 16)?

The answer is no.

NJCardFan
11-12-2012, 10:47 PM
Was Sandusky charged with the lowest felony classification?
Was Sandusky at most guilty of statutory rape of a person who could have consented to sex in the state of Pennsylvania (age of consent in PA is 16)?

The answer is no.

Again using your words, I thought there was no difference between children and adults? Can't have it both ways, son.

Novaheart
11-12-2012, 11:50 PM
Again using your words, I thought there was no difference between children and adults? Can't have it both ways, son.

I did not say that there was no difference between children and adults, I said that mammals biologically are either infant or adult, divided at the point at which they are capable of reproduction; and I didn't say that age of consent should coincide with that change albeit I may have pointed out that historically this has been the case in some paces including our own culture. Why would you think that was relevant to this discussion? We are talking about laws. You seem to have no interest in that conversation.

noonwitch
11-13-2012, 10:11 AM
I never liked Elmo. I like the original muppets from Sesame Street, but I never liked Elmo.



That said, I am not sure this is not an attempted shakedown by someone wanting money or attention. Or both.