Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash cleared of sex charges, report says

Kevin Clash, the longtime Elmo puppeteer, resigned from "Sesame Street" on Nov. 20, 2012, amid allegations that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old boy. Clash denied the allegations, which were first made in June 2012 by the accuser, who is now 23 years old. Sesame Workshop called the controversy surrounding Clash's personal life "a distraction that none of us want," which led to his decision to leave the show. AbovePuppeteer Kevin Clash speaks during the 'Independent Lens - Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey' panel during the PBS portion of the 2011 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 31, 2011 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo on "Sesame Street" for 28 years, has been cleared of sex abuse charges, according to The Hollywood Reporter (THR) .

An appeals court threw out the three charges against Clash, 53, saying the claims were made outside New York's statute of limitations.

In 2012, Kevin Clash was accused of abusing multiple men more than 10 years earlier. The allegations led Clash, 53, to resign from "Sesame Street."

"I have loved every day of my 28 years working for this exceptional organization," he said in a statement at the time. "Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work 'Sesame Street' is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer."

Clash was charged with sexual abuse by three men who said he molested them when they were minors, more than 10 years ago. But New York law states that a lawsuit must be filed within six years of the alleged event, or three years after a plaintiff turns 21, THR reports.

Clash has denied the charges and says the relationships he was involved in were consensual.

In July 2013, a New York judge dismissed the charges against Clash, and the appeals court upheld that decision this month.