A man dressed as Elmo in Times Square allegedly groped a 14-year-old tourist who was visiting New York City with a school group over the weekend, police said.
Inocente Andrade-Pachecko, 54, of Passaic, New Jersey, was charged with forcible touching, the NYPD said.
Police said the girl was with her school group in Times Square shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday when they decided to take a picture with Elmo, police said.
During the photo, Elmo allegedly squeezed her buttocks, police said. She told the group leader, who called police.
Andrade-Pachecko was granted supervised release after his arraignment Sunday. He is being represented by an attorney with Legal Aid, who denied the allegations on his client's behalf, according to The New York Post.
The behavior of Times Square's costumed characters became an issue several years ago, when police fielded scores of complaints about aggressive solicitations for tips, forced touching, assaults and grand larceny.
In response, the city passed a 2016 law restricting the street performers to designated areas on Times Square's pedestrian plaza.
The Times Square Alliance says this latest case and others highlight a need for improved regulation of Crossroads of the World characters.