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The man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of having a sexual relationship with him when he was a minor has been identified, and he has a rap sheet of his own.
Sheldon Stephens, a 24-year-old aspiring model and actor, has been named by The Smoking Gun as the anonymous man who claimed Monday he’d had sex with Clash at the age of 16. He since has recanted those allegations, saying Tuesday he was of legal age when the relationship happened.
STORY: Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash ‘Relieved’ After Accuser Recants
On his Twitter account biography, Stephens describes himself as an “Entrepreneur, Student, Model, Actor.” According to one of his friends, Stephens “attracts these high-powered men” and is a “God-fearing guy” and “not just a pretty boy.”
Stephens, a resident of Harrisburg, Pa., ran afoul of the law in 2009 when he was accused of robbing $250,000 worth of jewelry from his former boss at knife point after he had been fired from an internship.
Music manager Darian Pollard reported to the Beverly Hills Police Department that his former intern had stolen “white gold necklace with diamonds” and a “white gold ring with diamond baguettes,” before hopping on a flight from Los Angeles to Pennsylvania.
Harris was arrested at the airport in Pennsylvania, wearing the jewelry. Although a Beverly Hills detective told Pennsylvania authorities charges would be filed in California, it seems they never were. Charges were dropped against Stephens in his home state two weeks after his airport arrest.
According to The Smoking Gun, his other legal troubles include pleading guilty to reckless driving in May and passing a bad check last year, though that charge was dismissed after he made good with the Harrisburg business he’d written the check at.
Stephens’ resume includes several internships as well as employment at a few New York clothing stores.
STORY: ‘Sesame Street’ Puppeteer Kevin Clash Takes Leave of Absence Amid Underage Sex Allegations
He lives with his mother, 48-year-old Felicia Stephens, in her Harrisburg apartment.
His mother has had her own legal troubles. She was charged with attempted murder in March after allegedly stabbing her husband with scissors. She is out on bail and is due in court next month, where she also faces a felony aggravated assault charge.
On Tuesday, after the allegations against Clash were recanted, the longtime Sesame Street puppeteer issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, saying: “I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further.”
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