'Coronation Street' star charged with rape

Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:03 AM
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MANCHESTER, England, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Michael Le Vell, a star of the long-running British soap opera "Coronation Street," was charged Thursday with sexually assaulting a child.

Le Vell of Hale in Cheshire is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 27, the Manchester Evening News reported.

He was charged under his legal name, Michael Turner.

"Michael Turner has been charged with 19 offenses including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child," a spokesman for the Greater Manchester Police said.

Le Vell, 48, a native of Manchester, joined the cast of "Coronation Street" as a teenager in 1981, playing Kevin Webster. Viewers have watched him go from being an apprentice to a garage owner and followed his on-screen marital difficulties.

Charges were originally brought in 2011 and dropped for lack of evidence. Police Thursday asked Le Vell to report to a Manchester-area police station where he was charged and then released on bail.

Le Vell and his off-screen wife split up after his 2011 arrest, The Sun reported.

"Coronation Street," produced by Granada TV, has been on the air since 1960, making it the longest-running British soap. It focuses on life in a Manchester neighborhood.

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