Sesame Street and Sex Abuse
Kevin Clash, 52, the voice behind Elmo on Sesame Street, has resigned from his approximate 30 year-long puppeteer job amidst multiple allegations of homosexual acts with teenage boys. Clash was first accused of sexual impropriety by one Sheldon Stephens, now 23, when Stephens was allegedly 16. Recently, Stephens recanted as a condition Clash required as the accused paid a sum of $125,000.00 to Stephens in an out of court lawsuit settlement agreement.
Now a second lawsuit has been filed against Clash in federal court in New York by one Cecil Singleton, now in his 30′s, alleging Clash spoke with him over a gay phone chat line in 1993 when Singleton was 15. Singleton’s lawsuit seeks $5,000,000.00 in damages. Kevin Clash announced his resignation (although it’s unclear if he was forced to resign) stating "Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work ‘Sesame Street’ is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately."
Let’s examine these horrific allegations against Clash and by proxy Sesame Street. On one hand, I’m certain there are scores of parents who are absolutely incensed at hearing this news and are against their children watching Sesame Street ever again. Sesame Street Workshop’s reaction to the news of the allegations against Clash and his subsequent resignation was "This is a sad day for Sesame Street." On the other hand, Clash was the voice behind Elmo, not actually Elmo, and his accusers must prove a prima facie case against him in court in order to prevail.
I know what you’re thinking. But, he paid the first adult child over a hundred grand to claim they had a consensual adult homosexual relationship. Doesn’t that mean he paid Stephens off to obtain a "I didn’t do it and not guilty?" Perhaps, and it’s possible Stephens was legally blackmailed into accepting a monetary settlement to remain tight-lipped. But, let’s not forget that almost 20 years ago Michael Jackson paid a large sum of money to Jordan Chandler and his family for similar allegations of homosexual child abuse. Here’s what the wikipedia web page says about what Jordan Chandler’s father said – "I picked the nastiest son of a bitch I could find [Evan Chandler's lawyer, Barry Rothman], all he wants to do is get this out in the public as fast as he can, as big as he can and humiliate as many people as he can. He’s nasty, he’s mean, he’s smart and he’s hungry for publicity. Everything’s going to a certain plan that isn’t just mine. Once I make that phone call, this guy is going to destroy everybody in sight in any devious, nasty, cruel way that he can do it. I’ve given him full authority to do that. Jackson is an evil guy, he is worse than that and I have the evidence to prove it. If I go through with this, I win big-time. There’s no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever … Michael’s career will be over." – Evan Chandler.
We all know that Michael was accused again of homosexual acts of child abuse about 20 years later in 2003, was arrested, indicted, tried and acquitted. The point is, it’s possible Clash settled out of court with Stephens to avoid a publicity nightmare as Jackson did. Is it possible Kevin Clash was using his puppeteer job on Sesame Street as a "grooming tool" to satisfy his depraved lust for kids? Absolutely. But, it’s also possible these adult children Stephens and Singleton saw "cha ching," and a "get rich quick scheme," knowing that Clash is guilty by association and where there’s smoke there’s fire, and falsely accused him of sexual child abuse.
The act of sexual child abuse is arguendo the most despicable tort known to mankind. And if Clash did sexually exploit Stephens and Singleton, he should be housed in a similar institution that houses Jerry Sandusky. That said, we have been living in a world of No Touch Rules America for the last 20 – 30 years where just mere words from a child or adult child can ruin one’s life in a New York minute. Case in point – The Jonathan Prevette Kiss Case from North Carolina – "Some years ago a little girl asked Jonathan Prevette, a boy in her first grade class in Lexington, North Carolina , to kiss her on the cheek. When Jonathan complied, his teacher sent him to the principal who suspended him for sexual harassment. The Jonathan Prevette case made headlines around the world as an example of American political correctness gone berserk. As for Jonathan, he didn’t really understand the charges against him, and was upset only because he missed an ice cream party at school."
Is it safe to be around other children this upcoming holiday season? I don’t want to upset your holiday festivities, but you do the math!
Dean Tong is a forensic trial consultant, forensic trial expert, and published author, with almost 30 years of experience in helping parents and attorneys in contested child custody and abuse cases in criminal, family, juvenile, administrative, and appellate courts, nationally. Tong, who holds a very specialized Master of Science degree in Child Forensic Studies in psychology and the law, has worked cases from all states in America and various provinces in Canada.
Tong has tendered, been admitted, and testified as an expert witness in the areas of cognitive child developmental psychology, child abuse investigations, sexual interest/deviancy testing, and parental alienation in criminal and civil courts from many states. And, he has given over 2000 radio interviews over the past 20+ years, and has been seen on CNN, Dateline, CBS 48 Hours, ABC Prime Time Live, MSNBC, Court TV, and Dr. Phil, among others. He has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Rolling Stone Magazine, and scores of other broadcast and print media.