Man dressed as Elmo accused of groping Times Square tourist

U.S. & World
Elmo

The 2007 version of Elmo, T.M.X. Elmo eXtra Special Edition, is unveiled in New York on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007. The Fisher-Price plush toy, which goes on sale Nov. 13, includes two special clues for getting him to laugh. More clues will be released through the holiday season and on Jan. 2, 2008 all the hints will be revealed online at www.fisher-price.com. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (AP) — A man dressed as the children’s character Elmo has been charged with groping a 14-year-old girl who posed for a photo with him in Times Square.

The New York Post says the man, Inocente Andrade-Pacheco, has denied the allegations through his lawyer. The Post says the 54-year-old man from Passaic, New Jersey, been released without bail after his arraignment Sunday on charges including forcible touching.

Andrade-Pacheco was arrested Saturday evening. Authorities said he grabbed the girl’s buttocks.

The behavior of Times Square’s costumed characters became an issue several years ago, when police fielded scores of complaints about aggressive solicitations for tips, forced touching, assaults and grand larceny.

In response, the city passed a 2016 law restricting the street performers to designated areas on Times Square’s pedestrian plaza.

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