Street Justice: Voice of Elmo Facing Charges For Allegedly Having Sex With Underaged Boy

Word on “the street” is not good for Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo. Clash was arrested is facing charges for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy. Clash insists that the accused, now 23, was 18 when they started having an intimate relationship. Truth be known, I always thought it would be tightly wound Bert who ended up in the slammer. Notably, it was the Show that appears to have reported Clash.[UPDATE: The accuser, who remains nameless, has recanted his allegations].

The alleged victim says that Clash engaged in sexual acts with him when he was 16 and Clash was 45.
The case is interesting in that the accused went to the Sesame Workshop to report that alleged crime.  Clash appears to have taken the position that this is a relationship gone bad and the accuser is pre-dating their intimate relationship out of spite.

The program stated that “In June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from a young man who alleged that he had a relationship with Kevin Clash beginning when he was 16-years-old. This was a personal relationship, unrelated to the workplace. We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action.”

The show stressed that the show will go on and that “Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world.” That appears to suggest that they do not consider him a witness or, worst yet, a giggling accomplice.

The challenge for the defense in such a case is obviously the optics. “Tickle Me, Elmo” takes on a more sinister meaning in a criminal case. For that reason, defense counsel might try to keep Clash’s job out of the trial with a pre-trial motion as inherently prejudicial. His work as the voice of Elmo has nothing to do with the alleged crime as it has been reported. However, being involved in a children’s program would likely create an immediate bias for many jurors.

Clash previously co-authored a book about his work in 2006 titled “My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love and Laughing Out Loud.”

Clash issued the following statement:

“I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter. I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was. I am taking a break from Sesame Workshop to deal with this false and defamatory allegation.”

It is not clear what evidence establishes the date of the sexual relationship from the published reports.


63 thoughts on “Street Justice: Voice of Elmo Facing Charges For Allegedly Having Sex With Underaged Boy

  1. Nick, you are correct, of course. I don’t have the answer, and I think anyone who says they DO is mistaken. And ARE, YOU are also correct about the changing mores and taboos.

    Simply put, as I see it, as a society, we continue to be Victorian in nature. That is, we spout all sorts of puritanical rubbish about sex and act like it is some horrible thing meanwhile we are all secretly involved. Like Gene, having been a thirteen year old boy at one time in my distant past, I can tell you that age doesn’t matter one iota. A thirteen year old boy knows what he wants and will manage to get it (I say ‘boy’ because I obviously can’t speak from the female POV). Just because one turns 16 or 18 doesn’t suddenly make him/her magically responsible. So, we can make all of the laws we want regarding an age of accountability and as long as boys and girls continue to want to get laid, they will, and their age has nothing to do with it.

    • Kraaken, Then I see that you DO take the NAMBLA position on child molesting. They make much the same arguments too. I can state that as a child I got drunk, so I guess that we should let kids buy alcohol too? Kids will get alcohol one way or another or engage in other bad behavior since they are kids. We most certainly should not sanction such behavior and let them drive at 13 even though they can physically do so.

      Just because our society had some absurd prohibitions on some sexual behavior does mean that ALL such restrictions are bad. My preference is for what we use as legal age for contracts. That makes it simple easy, and quite clear and logical. If one cannot make a contract to buy a car, I think that having a ban on consensual sex between an adult and a minor is also a logical and legal one.

  2. “I think the question is about intentional predation by adults targeting mental children. Cases of mistaken identity, fraud, or unintentional harm are indeed different than that and should be dealt with differently.”

    That’s my point exactly, Tony.

  3. Curious, just noticed it while reading cat-fud horror stories on HP. It doesn’t change much regarding the conversation going on here, but it is nice to hear.

  4. ARE,

    More than half the state already have the age of consent for sex at less than the age of consent required for contracts. Contracting and sexual intercourse are not necessarily a false equivalence but a bad equivalence. Civil courts have been known to enforce contracts against minors considering circumstances and emancipated minors may contract like adults. We need to be looking at circumstance before labelling someone a sex offender and critical to those circumstances is validity of consent which has everything to do with the minor’s state of mind, hence the suggestion I made of 16 with a focus on validity of consent. I’ve known 16 year olds who had better sense than some adults I know. You can’t take a cookie cutter approach to this issue and expect anything other than some of the negatives we’ve been discussing. The actual maturity of the minor directly goes to the validity of their consent and validity of consent is at the heart of laws against pedophilia as much as the ethic of protecting children is.

  5. @Arthur: That makes it simple easy, and quite clear and logical.

    Simple, easy, and quite clear are not necessarily fair or logical. Prohibiting abortion in all cases is a Republican stance (for some of them) that is simple, easy and quite clear.

    I do not believe the logic of buying a car translates into the logic of agreeing to intercourse. I would not be tricked into thinking the car salesperson loves me, or that I must prove my love for her. Buying a car is not a bond in that relationship, it is the end of it; and any sensible person knows that salesperson is going to sell another car in an hour.

    Buying a car is not an emotionally charged experience that can scar me for life or change the course of my life by producing responsibilities for a child that, due to my immaturity, I never truly believed could happen, for which I never truly understood the scope or impact.

    I know a number of women (including my mother, two sisters, and three nieces) pregnant at 15 or 16, for every one of them it was at least an early end to childhood, and for half it was the end of school altogether. One sister and one niece went on to finish college, but for both it was an eight year part-time struggle instead of the four year breeze it should have been. None of these people thought they were going to get pregnant when they did, it was unplanned for all of them, and none of them knew what to expect even AFTER they became pregnant.

    If they had simply bought a car they could not afford, their life would not have changed. A car does not need to be fed and changed every three hours. A car can be stored until you are ready to use it. A car can be sold or returned. A child entails far more legal responsibilities and demands, and emotionally is far different than any object for which one may contract.

    The stakes of these two decisions are not equivalent at all; in fact for the vast majority of the underage pregnancies (16 and under) the pregnancy itself was unintentional and unexpected, not a decision. In that respect it is more like these girls agreed to ride a roller coaster and got hurt by the ride. Due to immaturity and child-like impulsiveness (and sometimes the assurances of an adult that should know better) she thought she was going on a safe and fun and thrilling ride, and ended up with a medical condition and 19 years of responsibility instead that changes the course of her life.

    • Thank you for making my case about 18 being the age of consent. My point was that if a child cannot buy a car legally, then having sex and getting pregnant is of FAR more consequence. If an adult is part of the equation of a girl getting pregnant under age, we should still call it rape. We restrict the rights of minor in buying cars, I sure as hell do not see why they should take more radical decisions at a younger age. If the sex in among those of about the same age, then I am in favor of having that exemption since they are not adults.

  6. That’s an amazing trick you just did there, ARE, taking statements that are the exact opposite of what you claim they say and making them mean the exact opposite to suit your Puritanical Christian predisposition about sexual mores. One usually has to go to a gym to see those kind of gymnastics.

    The primary goal of pedophilia laws is to protect children from abuse by those in superior positions, not to prevent teen pregnancy.

    Try not to confuse those distinct and separate social goals.

    • Gene H I hope you don’t have horses since you have made so many straw men that they will be hurting. First off I agreed that sex has MUCH greater consequences than buying a car. Thus I stated that if a kid cannot legally enter into contracts which have far less import than sex, then it would make rational sense to treat them as children until 18 for sex with adults. I guess you mised the part of my post which stated I did NOT even mention or imply that preventing pregnancy is the goal of age of consent laws. Since you seem to think that is what I said, you need to show that.

      How you get from any of my posts that I am a Puritanical Christian is WAY beyond any rational assumption. Your only defence is that you mjust be drunk. For your info I am an atheist and have been for most of my life.

  7. Thanks for revealing your multiple posting identities.

    However, you mentioned teen pregnancy as the primary consequence of sex below the age of majority. By using that as your rationale, you make the focus teen pregnancy instead of protecting children from predation by adults. That’s not a straw man, that’s the consequence of you mixing apples and oranges as to legislative intent. Also one need not be a Puritanical Christian to hold Puritanical views at odds with the science of human sexuality. Just dumb. Your only excuse is you must be irrational, which unlike drunkenness is a state that does not often pass.

    • I was unaware that having age of consent laws is part of Puritanical Christianity, though it is a small part of that too. In FACT Puritans are opposed to ALL sex outside of marriage. How you managed to get THAT out of my speaking in favor of an age of consent law is beyond rational thought. I guess I erred in even mentioning pregnancy since you draw an unwarrated inference that such laws are needed to stop that. Again, how you conflate my statement on the serious consequences of teen sex with a desire to prevent teen pregnancy is again a real stretch.

      I take from your post that having ANY laws against sex between an adult and a child is Puritanical. As my one statement said

      then having sex and getting pregnant is of FAR more consequence.

      i rather thought that was a fair statement that most folks could agree on, but I see that you could not understand that. I did NOT say preventing teen pregnancy is the REASON for having age of consent laws. I was merely stating a rather obvious possible consequence of that sex. I hope you will take your meds more religiously and or get sober. Even then you are quite right that your irrationality will not pass.

  8. Apparently you don’t understand the colloquial use of the word “Puritanical”. I could use “prudish” or “unscientific” or “illogical” should you prefer. ” I did NOT say preventing teen pregnancy is the REASON for having age of consent laws.” You certainly implied as much by making that your rationale. “I take from your post that having ANY laws against sex between an adult and a child is Puritanical.” And you say straw man to me. Tsk, tsk, tsk. “i rather thought that was a fair statement that most folks could agree on, but I see that you could not understand that. ” Oh, I understood just fine. I just didn’t agree. “I hope you will take your meds more religiously and or get sober.” I don’t drink and the only meds I am on is a topical antibiotic for a scratch I got working in the yard, but you be sure to let me know how that cranial/rectal separation surgery works out for you. Surely one benefit is it will be easier for you to take a breath when ranting.

    Carry on.

  9. Gay and lesbian people should never ever be allowed to work with children, because if you look at every case that deals with people that have those sexual preferences they are the ones raping little boys and girls. People with normal sexual desires never in a million years would touch a child. Sorry but that is the truth.

  10. Smith,

    Guest bloggers must use their real names as a condition for position. As for my sexual orientation, it’s none of your business, but I’m a heterosexual who is LGBT friendly. Why? Because I’ve had very good relations and experiences in dealing with members of the community and I’m an egalitarian who believes they should have equal rights to determine their legal relationships. They’re just people. Some good, some bad, but just people. Who they sleep with is none of mine (or your) business as long as they aren’t child predators.



    The science says that pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder but that pedophiles cover the full range of orientations: heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual.

  11. Gene H., complete garbage.
    If a 45 year-old man had sex with your 16 year-old son or daughter, you would shoot him. Don’t be a complete hypocrite when making generalized statements about “biology” and sex, then do the opposite (which you would) if you discovered Your underaged child in a sexual relationship with a 45 year-old man.

  12. Justsayno,

    You have some real issues. I’m saying that not just because of your comment that “gays and lesbians” are the ones molesting kids, not “people of a normal sexuality”, but because of similar disturbed comments you made in the past.
    Your assertion is made-up, and comes from your delusional paranoia, not science, statistics, or research. Just because you assert your paranoia, doesn’t make your paranoia (and frank lie) true.

    Sorry, but that is the truth.

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