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Actor Bill Roache's sex-abuse trial to start in January

June 10, 2013 at 10:53 AM

LONDON, June 10 (UPI) -- Bill Roache is to stand trial in January for sexually assaulting five girls, allegations the British television actor has vehemently denied.

Roache, 81, is best known for his decades-long work on the soap opera "Coronation Street."

The Mirror newspaper quoted the actor's lawyer as saying Roache is looking forward to the trial where he will "vigorously protest his innocence" against "deeply upsetting" child sex allegations.

Roache appeared for a 5-minute preliminary hearing at Preston Crown Court Monday. His trial date was set for Jan. 13, the newspaper said.

He is free on bail until Sept. 2 when he is to enter formal pleas to the charges. His employer, ITV, has said he will not be taping new episodes of "Coronation Street" unless he is exonerated.

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