*Relationships with boys doesn’t just happen in the Catholic Church anymore  … What, bad joke?

Well anyway, as we previously reported, Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo from “Sesame Street,” has taken a leave of absence following a heated recent sex scandal.

According to reports, seven years ago, the voice actor who was 45 at the time, allegedly had a sexual relationship with a then 16-year-old boy unrelated to the workplace.

Clash, however, denies that they had close encounters while the accuser was a kid. He said things got sexy-like only when he became an adult.

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The news came out after a 23-year-old man contacted Sesame Workshop executives to alert them of his relationship with Clash. Since first contact, the head honchos have met with the said accuser twice. But it’s not going over very well, as he believes the Workshop lawyers are attempting to keep him hushed.

Now he’s got a lawyer speaking on his behalf.

Andreozzi and Associates accuses the Sesame Street folks of attempting to suppress the truth and brush off the alleged victim.

“This approach places a greater value on a puppet than the well being of a young man.”

In the meantime, Clash’s employers released several statements to TMZ:  “Kevin insists that these allegations are false and defamatory and he has taken actions to protect his reputation. We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.”

It’s not clear why the puppeteer took a leave of absence if he’s clean. And as of this writing, there is no word on the duration of that leave.