'Coronation Street' star acquitted of child-rape charges

Sept. 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM
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MANCHESTER, England, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- A Manchester jury has acquitted British television star Michael Le Vell of raping a young girl numerous times, starting when she was six years old.

Le Vell, 48, is best known for his work on "Coronation Street." He was suspended indefinitely from the long-running soap opera pending the outcome of his trial.

The Guardian reported he was cleared Tuesday of all charges related to allegations a teen-age girl first made to her mother about him in September 2011.

The young woman's identity, current age and the nature of her relationship to Le Vell have not been disclosed.

Le Vell's attorney argued the teen's story changed numerous times depending on to whom she told it and the jury determined there wasn't enough evidence to back up her claims, The Guardian said.

"I'm delighted, obviously -- it's a big weight off everyone's shoulders," Le Vell said outside the courthouse following his acquittal.

"I'd just like to thank my fantastic legal team, my family for their support, security, and I'd like to thank ITV for their continued support throughout this traumatic time for all of us," he said. "I'd like to thank you all for being patient -- and I might go for a drink now!'

Asked when he might return to "Coronation Street," Le Vell replied: "I don't know. I may have a holiday first. I'll have a talk with my boss."

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