Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell has said he will "fight vigorously" the 19 child sex offences he has been charged with, including one of rape. ITV said he will not be appearing in any further episodes pending the outcome of legal proceedings.
As Kevin Webster, he's been a favourite with Coronation Street's millions of viewers for 30 years. Today the actor Michael Le Vell, whose real name is Michael Turner, was charged with 19 sex offences against a child. In a statement today he vowed to fight the charges vigorously.
I would like to make it quite clear that following the serious allegations that have been brought against me on Thursday 14th February 2013, I am innocent of these charges and intend to fight them vigorously.
I will now put all my efforts into clearing my name and proving my innocence.
I thank my friends, family and fans for their continued support.
I would ask now for time to concentrate on preparing my defence with my legal team.
Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, who has been charged with child sex offences, will not be appearing in any further episodes pending the outcome of legal proceedings, a spokesperson for ITV has said.
Michael Le Vell was first arrested in September 2011 and questioned over alleged child sex offences, but the matter was later dropped.
However, Greater Manchester Police said the actor, from Hale, Cheshire, had been charged with sex offences against a youngster after a review of evidence by lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The charges, which were authorised by the CPS following a review of evidence, relate to offences against a child between 2001 and 2010.
Michael Le Vell, 48, whose real name is Michael Turner, is accused of 19 sex offences including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.
I have very carefully reviewed the evidence in this case and I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Michael Robert Turner with a number of sexual offences.
I have authorised Greater Manchester Police to charge Mr Turner with 19 offences, including rape of a child.
– Alison Levitt, QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions