Clash, who voiced Sesame Street’s Elmo for the last 28 years, was subsequently forced to take a leave of absence from the children’s show.
This week, the man who accused Clash of having sex with him when he was a teenage boy recanted his story and said they had a consensual relationship as adults.
Today, Clash’s accuser has been identified as a 24-year-old aspiring model and actor named Sheldon Stephens.
According to his Facebook page Stephens describes himself as “a rare breed. I’m very spontaneous and random,” Stevens says. “I’m determined and goal oriented. My destiny is laid on a solid gold brick pathway … MY FUTURE IS BRIGHT and never will it dim.”
As reported by The Smoking Gun, this is not Stephens’ first run-in with the law. In 2009 he was accused of robbing $250,000 worth of jewelry from his former boss at knife point after he had been fired from an internship.
Music manager Darian Pollard reported to the Beverly Hills Police Department that his former intern had stolen a “white gold necklace with diamonds” and a “white gold ring with diamond baguettes” before hopping on a flight from Los Angeles to Pennsylvania.
Stephens was arrested at the airport in Pennsylvania, wearing the jewelry; however, charges against him were dropped two weeks later.
Currently Stephens reportedly lives with his 48-year-old mother, Felecia Stephens, in her Harrisburg, Pennsylvania apartment.
His mother has a rap sheet of her own. In March she was charged with attempted murder after stabbing her husband with scissors. She is currently out on bail and is due in court next month where she also faces charges of aggravated assault.
Yesterday, Clash released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further.”
The producers of Sesame Street released a statement saying Clash won’t be returning to work right away. He has asked for “some additional time to put this ordeal behind him.”
The question still remains whether or not these false accusations have done irreparable damage to the puppeteer’s career.
Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC