Dan Sandler, also known as “Evil Elmo,” has pleaded not guilty in an extortion case involving the Girl Scouts.
The street performer is known for portraying a sinister version of the beloved Sesame Street character. Sandler has even taken the act on the road; he’s performed everywhere from San Francisco to New York City.
Evil Elmo currently stands accused of attempting to extort around $2 million from the Girls Scouts of America. Prosecutors allege that Sandler sent harassing emails to a female supervisor he met while briefly working for the organization.
When the street performer was asked to stop, he told the supervisor that he would start spreading lies about sexual abuse. If she wanted to keep him quiet, the organization would have to meet his demands.
Assistant District Attorney Lauren Littman explained that Evil Elmo’s letters soon took on a very strange and sinister tone.
“I want a telecommute job from home of life at 150K. Or a two million dollar cash settlement. As you know, the newspapers like to cover my evil Elmo scenario,” Sandler explained during one of his communications with the Girl Scouts.
“How you treat me as a person will go a long way in regards to how I treat the Girl Scouts in the press, on the Internet and on YouTube,” he warned. Another email reportedly contained a picture of the character stuffed into the trunk of a car.
Evil Elmo pleaded not guilty to the charges in Manhattan on Wednesday.
This isn’t Dan Sandler’s first brush with the law. The performer was arrested last year after causing a scene in the middle of traffic in New York City. He was also accused going on an anti-Semitic rant shortly before his arrest. Sandler later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
What do you think about Evil Elmo attempting to extort $2 million from the Girl Scouts of America?