Elmo street performer admits to Girl Scouts extortion

Sept. 19, 2013 at 3:18 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A New York street performer accused of anti-Semitism while dressed as "Sesame Street" character Elmo admitted to trying to extort money from the Girl Scouts.

Dan Sandler, 49, pleaded guilty Wednesday in city Supreme Court to attempted grand larceny and stalking as part of a deal with prosecutors, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

Sandler was accused of sending emails to a Girl Scouts supervisor beginning in July 2012 demanding cash in exchange for not spreading false claims including allegations the organization set up and condoned sexual encounters with young girls at scout camp.

Sandler faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 9.

The street performer was previously arrested Sept. 18, 2012, for allegedly blocking traffic and resisting arrest while dressed in his Elmo costume. Police said Sandler was shouting about his disdain for "the Jews."

"The Jews are responsible for everything that's wrong with the world!" police quoted him as shouting.

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