Sex abuse lawsuit against former Elmo puppeteer is dismissed

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Sex abuse lawsuit against former Elmo puppeteer is dismissed
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) John Tartaglia, Elmo and Kevin Clash attend the 2012 Drama League Of New York 'Musical Celebration Of Broadway' Benefit at The Pierre Hotel on February 6, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Puppeteer Kevin Clash (center) and Elmo talk at the Apple Store Upper West Side on November 20, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 26: Actor Kevin Clash and Elmo attend the 'Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey' Salt Lake City Q & A during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2011 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Clayton Chase/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Actor/Puppeteer Kevin Clash poses with Elmo at the 'BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer's Journey' Premiere at the Temple Theatre during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2011 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Todd Oren/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama dances alongside Sesame Street character Elmo during an event announcing free licensing of Sesame Street characters to promote and market fresh fruit and vegetables by Produce Marketing Association growers, suppliers and retailers, as part of the Let's Move initiative, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 30, 2013. The agreement utilizes the strength of the Sesame Street brand to help deliver messages about fresh fruits and vegetables and characters such as Elmo and Big Bird may be on produce in stores as early as mid-2014. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

(Reuters) - A federal judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Kevin Clash, the puppeteer known for his work as the voice of Sesame Street's Elmo, of child sexual abuse.

The lawsuit was filed by a man who accused Clash, 53, of engaging in a sexual relationship during visits to New York that began in 2004, when the man was 16.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, dismissed the lawsuit on Thursday, ruling it had not been filed within the statute of limitations in New York.

The lawsuit was filed last year.

A judge in New York previously dismissed three other lawsuits against Clash by men who accused him of sexually abusing them when they were under age. The New York judge also said the statute of limitations had run out.

Accusations against Clash led to his resignation in 2012 from the job he held for 28 years as the puppeteer who brought life to Elmo, the red, furry monster featured on the international children's television series.

Clash's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond and Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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