The puppeteer who performs as Elmo on "Sesame Street" is taking a leave of absence from the popular children's show following allegations that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old boy.
Sesame Workshop said Kevin Clash denies the charges, which were first made in June by the alleged partner, who by then was 23.
In a statement, Sesame Workshop said its investigation found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated.
However it said Mr Clash exercised "poor judgment" and was disciplined for violating company policy regarding internet usage. It offered no details.
At his request, Mr Clash has been granted a leave of absence in order to "protect his reputation", Sesame Workshop said. No duration for the leave was specified.
Mr Clash has voiced and animated Elmo since the 1980s.