Elmo puppeteer leaves "Sesame Street" over sex allegations

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Kevin Clash is leaving "Sesame Street" for now.

The puppeteer who performs as Elmo on the popular children's TV show is taking a leave from absence after allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy. Clash denies the charges, which his bosses say were first made in June by the accuser.

UPDATE: Accuser recants

Sesame Workshop says the relationship was "unrelated to the workplace" - but found that Clash used "poor judgment" and was disciplined for violating company policy regarding Internet usage. It offered no details.

In his own statement, Clash says while he had a relationship with the accuser, that relationship "was between two consenting adults."

Sex with a person under 17 is a felony in New York if the perpetrator is at least 21.

It was unclear where the relationship took place. Clash is 52, divorced and the father of a grown daughter. He says he is gay and not ashamed of that - but felt the relationship was "a personal and private matter."

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