Coro Street star back in court
Coronation Street star and father of two Michael Le Vell has again appeared in a British court as he faces a raft of child sex offences.
The 48-year-old, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster on the popular soap, spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth, The Sun reported.
Le Vell is facing 18 charges that include raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child. He maintains his innocence.
The hearing lasted eight minutes and Le Vell’s solicitor said there was no indication of a plea "other than the fact that the charges are contested, and will be fully contested in the Crown court", The Sun reported.
He was bailed on several conditions, including that he surrenders his passport, and will reappear in the Manchester Crown Court on March 20.
Le Vell, whose real name is Michael Turner, was arrested in 2011 on suspicion of committing child sex offences but the charges were dropped three months later.
According to the Daily Mail, authorities said at the time, there was not enough evidence to charge him.
However Crown prosecutors now believe they have enough evidence to proceed with charges for offences committed as far back as 2001.
Le Vell, who lives in Hale, Cheshire, has been in the soap since 1983.
The actor split from his wife Janette Beverley last year.
Earlier this month Coronation Street star William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, defended his child rape-accused co-star, saying it's an allegation - "that's all it is".
Speaking to Nelson announcer Jordan Brannigan on Classic Hits, Roache said the media and public needed to let the justice system prevail.
"In my view you're innocent until you're until proven guilty. But what happens here - anyone can make an allegation and you're immediately arrested and all that, and your name is vilified in the papers," Roache said.