Michael Le Vell, the actor who plays Kevin Webster on the popular British soap opera Coronation Street, has been charged with 19 counts of sex assault against minors.
The charges against Le Vell, whose real last name is Turner, include “raping a child, indecency assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child,” reports The Guardian. He will appear in court in two weeks time, on Feb. 27., and the actor said, in a statement, that he intends to defend himself.
Le Vell was questioned in 2011 on similar offenses, but those charges were dropped. These charges stem from incidents said to have occurred between 2001 and 2010, reports BBC News.
Le Vell has played the role of Kevin Webster on Coronation Street 30 years, making him one of the longest-running characters on the show.
This isn’t the first time in Coronation Street‘s 52-year history that a star has faced potentially career-ending allegations. In 1983, Coronation Street actor Peter Adamson, who played the role of builder Len Fairclough, defended himself against charges that he assaulted two girls at a swimming pool. Adamson was acquitted of the charges, but “his reputation did not recover,” writes The Telegraph editor Andrew M. Brown.
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