Central Park’s Jew-Hating Elmo Also A Rapist

By  | 

Earlier this week, a video of a man in an Elmo costume spewing vile anti-Semitic diatribes went viral. The man was taken away by an ambulance after reports of a mentally disturbed individual ranting in Central Park reached authorities.

He was released after a psychiatric evaluation and was back at work on Tuesday. But the New York Times reports that the anti-Semitic screeds might not even be the scariest thing about this Elmo, who now goes by the name Adam Sandler (previously Dan Sandler, if my internet sleuthing is right). The 48-year-old from Ashland, Oregon, is a University of Oregon graduate (my husband’s alma mater has never sounded so skeevy):

He later traveled to Cambodia and started a pornographic Web site called “Welcome to the Rape Camp.”

“I had a sex scandal,” he said.

An online search yielded news accounts of the site, like a 1999 article by The Associated Press that identified Mr. Sandler by his original name. The Cambodian police arrested Mr. Sandler that year and quickly deported him, according to news media accounts and Mr. Sandler. He insisted the women on the site were not harmed and were paid $20 per performance.

On Tuesday, he said the notoriety from the Rape Camp case led him to change his first name to Adam, and he asked that the original name not be included in this article. “I did run a porn site in Cambodia,” he said.

A professor at the University of Rhode Island wrote about the site and said that she later received voice and email messages from someone claiming to be Sandler.

The messages were chilling. She forwarded several to The New York Times.

In one message, the man said he had had sex with a number of young girls in exchange for money in Cambodia.

Sandler says he went on to work at the New York offices of the Girl Scouts, but lost the job and decided to go into the imitation Elmo business.

I didn’t really need this anecdote to feel any worse about street performers in furry costumes. But the way the article ends is the worst:

On Tuesday, a mother approached the costumed Mr. Sandler, pushing a sleeping toddler in a stroller. “Will you be here tomorrow?” she asked. “She loves Elmo.”

Come on, Mom. How many after school specials do you have to watch before you learn to stay away from weird anti-Semitic, allegedly child-raping men in matted fur costumes?