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Judge tosses three N.Y. lawsuits against ex-Elmo actor Kevin Clash; says men waited too long to sue

BY LARRY NEUMEISTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK -- Three lawsuits brought by men who said former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash sexually abused them when they were underage were tossed out by a judge who said in a decision published Monday that the men waited too long to sue.

U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl said the claims must be barred because they came more than six years after the men reasonably should have realized that the physical and emotional injuries they're suing over were caused by alleged encounters with Clash. The judge also noted that each man had been over the age of 18 for more than three years before the lawsuits were filed.

Clash was the man behind Elmo, the popular furry red monster, for 28 years.

Attorneys for the men promised an appeal while Clash said through his lawyer that he hoped the ruling would help him recover personally and professionally.

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