Coro stars deny sex abuse

Last updated 08:01 03/09/2013
Michael Le Vell
CHARGED: Michael Le Vell plays Kevin Webster on Coronation Street.
William Roache
Reuters
WILLIAM ROACHE: The world's longest-serving soap actor, playing the Coronation Street character of Ken Barlow since the show's launch.

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Two of Britain's most famous soap stars, William Roache and Michael Le Vell of Coronation Street, have both pleaded not guilty to separate charges of child sex abuse.

Roache, who has played Ken Barlow since Coronation Street was first broadcast in 1960, faces two charges of raping a 15-year-old girl in 1967 and five counts of indecent assault.

The assaults, which allegedly took place between 1965 and 1968, relate to four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16.

The world's longest-serving soap actor said he was "astounded and deeply horrified" at the accusations when he was first arrested in May.

He is to face trial in January at the court in the northern city of Preston.

In nearby Manchester, where Coronation Street is set, Le Vell, who has played car mechanic Kevin Webster for three decades, denied 12 charges of child sex abuse including five counts of rape.

The charges against the 48-year-old also include three counts of indecent assault, two of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

The alleged offences relate to one victim and took place between 2002 and 2010. Le Vell's trial is expected to last about two weeks.

Neither actor is to appear in the ITV soap while legal proceedings are ongoing.

- MCT

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