Lord Nazir Ahmed, the former Labour Party peer, has been charged with two counts of attempted rape and one count of indecent assault.
He is one of three men charged by South Yorkshire Police as part of an investigation into sexual offences.
The other two, 68-year-old Mohamed Farouq and 63-year-old Mohammed Tariq, both from Rotherham, are respectively charged with four and two counts of indecent assault.
All three men are due to appear at Sheffield Magistrates' Court on 19 March 2019.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed the charges against Ahmed relate to two complainants - a boy and a girl - and to alleged incidents in the early 1970s, when he was a teenager.
The indecent assault charge relates to a "boy under 13".
Lord Ahmed was born in Pakistan-governed Kashmir but his political roots are in Rotherham, where he grew up and still lives.
Educated locally, he joined the Labour Party at 18 and served for a decade on Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.
After studying at Sheffield Hallam University, he ran a chain of shops in his home town and became a property developer.
He was made a life peer in 1998 and made regular appearances in the media, where he was often called upon to comment on issues facing British Muslims.
Ahmed resigned from the Labour Party in 2013.