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 has since recanted those allegations, saying Tuesday he was of legal age when the relationship happened.
Stephens, a resident of Harrisburg, Pa., ran afoul of the law in 2009 when he was accused of robbing at knife point $250,000 worth of jewelry from his former boss 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 baguets,” 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 Police Department 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.
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 last 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."