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Caught red-handedCaught red-handed

‘Anti-Semitic Elmo’ goes to jail

Court says Dan Sandler, known for spewing anti-Semitic invective while wearing a muppet suit, extorted Girl Scouts

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Anti-Semitic Elmo in Times Square, New York (screen capture: YouTube)
Anti-Semitic Elmo in Times Square, New York (screen capture: YouTube)

A man who gained notoriety for going on anti-Semitic rants while dressed in an Elmo muppet suit in New York was sentenced to a year in jail for trying to extort $2 million from the Girl Scouts, where he worked briefly on a computer project.

Dan Sandler, who has used the name Adam Sandler as well, showed no remorse for his crimes and said as much to Judge Robert Stolz as he was sentenced at the Manhattan Criminal Court, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

“This is not the case of someone in the back room of the office trying to embezzle money — this is more of a protest, like laying down in the intersection,” Sandler said. “I am in no way sorry to the Girl Scouts organization, because I think they are a corrupt organization.”

Prosecutors claimed that in 2012 Sandler, 49, sent harassing emails to his supervisors at the Girls Scouts. In the emails, he threatened to publicize the false claim that the Girl Scouts organized sexual liaisons between men and its members, unless he was paid $2 million.

Sandler pleaded guilty to lesser charges of second-degree attempted grand larceny and third-degree stalking.

His defense lawyer, Lorri Cohen, said her client pleaded guilty to avoid a trial that might have ended with a heavier sentence, but also suggested that Sandler never really intended to receive the money.

“Is there any realm in which we think the Girl Scouts would pay him money because he sent them emails?” Cohen said. “It was sort of a silly case.”

Sandler shot to fame on the Internet in June last year as “Bad Elmo” after he was caught on film hurling obscene, anti-Semitic epithets at tourists while dressed as the Sesame Street character Elmo in New York’s Central Park. Sandler earned money from tips by posing for photographs with tourists, including children, but was arrested for disorderly conduct because of his offensive behavior.

According to The New York Times, Sandler has a shady past involving a website he ran from Cambodia, called “Welcome to the Rape Camp,” that featured videos claiming to be of non-consensual sex. He was deported by local authorities in 1999.

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