Elmo is off the hook ... for now.

Former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has been cleared of sexual abuse charges. The 53-year-old, who voiced the famed Muppet for decades, resigned from "Sesame Street" in 2012 after multiple men accused him of sexually abusing them more than a decade earlier.

Earlier this month the U.S. Court of Appeals threw out three of the cases, agreeing with last year's ruling by a New York judge.

"The case was dismissed because of the statute of limitations. There is no ruling on the merits," the plaintiffs' attorney Jeff Herman told People magazine. "The case against Clash on behalf of Sheldon Stephens is pending."

This month, the United States Court of Appeals dismissed the cases of three alleged victims -- Cecil Singleton, Kevin Kiadii and a man identified only by initials "S.M." -- who all claim they were sexually abused by Clash, 53, more than 10 years ago as teenagers.

A New York judge previously threw out the lawsuits in July 2013, claiming they were filed after the six-year statute of limitation had expired.

According to RadarOnline.com, the Court of Appeals said the alleged victims "failed to provide any reason why (they) were unable to discover their injuries prior to 2012," and their arguments were "without" merit, said court documents.


Advertisement

Clash still has to deal with Pennsylvania man Sheldon Stephens, who sued Clash in March 2013. Stephens claims Clash smoked crystal meth as he sexually abused him at age 16. Another unnamed accuser recanted his sex abuse allegations in 2012, saying he had a consensual relationship with Clash.

Clash resigned in November 2012 after 28 years of bringing to life the lovable monster.

Contact Tony Hicks at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/insertfoot.