Embattled former Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash has asked a judge to dismiss three lawsuits accusing him of inappropriate sexual acts with underage men.
The man behind beloved character Elmo became embroiled in a sex scandal last year after he was accused of having relations with a string of men when they were minors.
Clash quit the show in November as the scandal continued to play out and he was hit with legal action over the allegations, although he denied the claims.
On Friday, his lawyer filed a motion in a New York City court to have three lawsuits dismissed, claiming the statutes of limitations had expired.
In his brief, obtained by Eonline.com, attorney Michael Berger writes, "There are two applicable types of statutes of limitations, a six-year one based on when the right of action has accrued, and a three-year one based on when the alleged victim turned eighteen and was therefore no longer under the disability of being a minor."
All three lawsuits were lodged in November and December, but Berger argues that the three men needed to have filed suit earlier than 2012 to be within their rights to pursue legal action.
Meanwhile Jeff Herman, who is representing all three plaintiffs, is convinced the motion to "avoid liability on technical grounds" will be unsuccessful.
He explains, "It should be noted his motion does not say the abuse did not happen, just that it is too late to file the complaints. The law we are proceeding under recognises the rights of victims to bring their lawsuits within six years from the time they connect their injuries to the abuse. We are hopeful the Court will see it our way, however, by being able to bring their claims forth publicly the victims are already further along in the healing process."