Coronation Street star William Roache has defended his child rape-accused co-star Michael Le Vell, 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.
Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster, was last week charged with child sex offences allegedly carried out over a 10-year period.
"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.
"If someone has committed a criminal act, against a woman, or is a paedophile, yes. Of course, they should be sorted out and hunted.
"But until that is sorted out and is proven, an allegation is just an allegation. Lets wait and see until the trial is over, what happens."
Le Vell was to appear in Manchester Magistrates Court facing 19 child sex offences, including rape and indecent assault.
The father of two 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.
But crown prosecutors now believe they have enough evidence to proceed with charges for offences committed as far back as 2001.
Roache said if Le Vell was acquitted in the trial, "what then"?
"All the damage is done in the paper."
Roache is touring New Zealand as the star of Coronation Street on Stage! which condenses the programme's 50-year history of births, deaths, marriages and other dramatic events into one action-packed two-hour show.
The stage play by award-winning playwright and Coronation Street scriptwriter Jonathan Harvey is touring through March and April and has already received rave reviews through Europe.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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