The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 1, 2013

Judge tosses 3 N.Y. lawsuits against ex-Elmo actor

(Continued)

Sex with a person under age 17 is a felony in New York if the perpetrator is 21 or older.

Koeltl said Singleton's claim expired in 2009, Kiadii's claim became time-barred at some point between 2008 and 2010 and the case brought anonymously would have expired between 2000 and 2002.

Adam D. Horowitz, an attorney for the men who brought the lawsuits, noted that the case was dismissed only on statute of limitations grounds.

"It should not be viewed as a vindication for Kevin Clash or a determination that he is innocent," Horowitz said. He added that lawyers were "still hearing from more of his alleged victims."

Jeff Herman, another lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement: "This is the first battle. We plan to appeal the decision and continue the fight to be a voice for victims."

Herman called the statute of limitations "an arbitrary timeline that silences victims" and demonstrates "the need for a window in New York to allow victims to have their day in court."

Michael G. Berger, Clash's attorney, called the ruling an "important step" for helping Clash to move on. He said Clash was pleased.

"As we have maintained all along, our goal has been to put these spurious claims behind him, so that Kevin can go about the business of reclaiming his personal life and his professional standing," Berger said in a statement. The lawyer noted that Clash, a native of Dundalk, Md., won three Emmys last month.

"Kevin is looking forward to a time in the near future when he can tell his story free of innuendo and false claims," he said.

In the ruling, the judge said that the time in which someone must bring a lawsuit accumulates after the victimization rather than when the individual realizes subsequent psychological harm.

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