Coro actor cleared of sex charges

Last updated 09:38 11/09/2013
Michael Le Vell
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'I MIGHT HAVE A DRINK': Michael Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster in Coronation Street, is embraced by friends as he makes a statement to the press after being found not guilty.

Michael Le Vell
Getty Images
RELIEF: Michael Le Vell outside court.

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Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, who has played mechanic Kevin Webster for 30 years, has been found not guilty of child sex charges.

The 48-year-old was cleared on 12 charges by a jury at Manchester Crown Court following a week-long trial, reported The Telegraph.

Le Vell denied five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

The teenage girl, who could not be named, claimed the assaults started when she was six years old.

She made the claims in September 2011 after she and her mother attended a motivational talk by a woman who claimed to have been raped as a child.

Le Vell was arrested on suspicion of three rapes, but the case was dropped due to lack of evidence two months later.

The girl later contacted police with more allegations, and after reviewing evidence in the case, Le Vell was arrested in February this year.

She claimed he had held a teddy bear over her mouth as he raped her, and that she would die if she told anybody.

However, medical experts examined her and found there was no evidence she had ever been abused.

Le Vell told The Telegraph he was "delighted."

"It's a weight off everyone's shoulders," he said.

"I would just like to thank my legal team here, my family for their support and security and I would like to thank ITV for their continued support."

When asked what he was going to do next, he said: "I might go and have a drink now."

He said he may return to the soap, which he had been off for seven months, after a holiday.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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