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Former Elmo Puppeteer Handed Legal Victory in Sex Cases

Wendell Teodoro/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Former Elmo performer Kevin Clash had three sexual abuse lawsuits against him tossed in a New York City courtroom Monday.

U.S. District Court Judge John G. Koeltl ruled that lawsuits brought against Clash by three plaintiffs -- Cecil Singleton, Kevin Kiadii and an unnamed John Doe -- were all filed too late.  The trio had sued the performer, claiming he had sex with them when they were still minors, but the judge insisted the state's statute of limitations had expired.

Clash still has one more sexual-abuse lawsuit to battle.  The remaining suit was filed by 24-year-old Sheldon Stephens, the man who first accused the Sesame Street performer of sexual abuse back in November.

Stephens subsequently recanted his statements, saying his relationship with the Emmy winner was both "adult" and "consensual."  He's now standing by his original claim.

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