British soap actor arrested on rape charge dating back to 1967
The Coronation Street star William Roache - also known as Bill Roache - has denied the accusation of rape that has been made against him. Roache, who has starred in Coronation Street since its very first episode in 1960, was charged of raping a 15 year old girl in 1967. Two accusations of rape have been made against Roache and the incidents are alleged to have occurred in Haslingden between April and July in 1967.
"I am astounded and deeply horrified by the extraordinary events of the last 24 hours," said the actor, who plays the role of Ken Barlow in the long-running soap. He was arrested at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire on Wednesday (May 1, 2013). His statement continued "I strenuously deny the allegations and will now focus my full attention on fighting to preserve my innocence in the challenging times ahead. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those people who have offered me their support and good wishes at this difficult time."
Lancashire Police have said that they have been reviewing evidence since March 1st. Nazir Afzal, the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West, said "Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Roache to be charged with two offences of rape relating to a girl, aged 15, in 1967." A spokesman for ITV confirmed that Roache will not be appearing in the soap until legal proceedings were concluded. He's currently the second actor suspended from the soap because of ongoing investigations into sexual offences. Michael Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster, is also suspended.
81 Year old Bill Roache