Puppeteer Kevin Clash speaks on a panel during the PBS portion of the Summer TCA Tour at the Beverly Hilton on July 31, 2011, in Beverly Hills, Calif.  
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

A federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a lawsuit against former Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash on Thursday, saying it had not been filed before the statute of limitations expired, Reuters reports.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner in Harrisburg, Pa., dismissed the suit filed last year 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,” Reuters reports.

It was not the first time a judge has dismissed a suit against Clash, formerly the longtime voice of Elmo on the children’s TV program Sesame Street. A New York judge previously dismissed three lawsuits brought against the puppeteer by men who accused him of sexually abusing them when they were underage. The New York judge also said the statute of limitations had run out in those cases, the report says.

Amid the allegations, Clash resigned in 2012 from the job he had held for 28 years as Elmo’s puppeteer. His attorney could not be reached for comment.

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