- Le Vell who plays Kevin Webster has been charged with 19 offences
- He was first arrested and questioned by police in September 2011
- The charges include raping a child and sexual activity with a child
15 February 2013
Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell has been charged with 19 child sex offences, including raping a child and sexual activity with a child.
Le Vell, 48, who plays mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV1 soap, was originally arrested and questioned in September 2011 over child sex allegations, but no charges were brought.
But Greater Manchester Police confirmed late last night that Le Vell, real name Michael Turner, will appear in court in two weeks time.
The charges relate to offences between 2001 and 2010, police said.
They were brought against the popular actor, who lives in Hale, Cheshire, after a review of evidence by the Crown Prosecution Service.
A police spokesman said last night: 'A man has been charged with 19 child sex offences.
'Michael Turner has been charged with 19 offences including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.
'He is due to appear at Manchester Magistrates on Wednesday February 27.
'The charges, which were authorised by the CPS following a review of evidence, relate to offences against a child between 2001 and 2010.'
Alison Levitt, QC, principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions, had reviewed a file of evidence in relation to allegations of sexual offences and looked again at a decision previously made not to prosecute.
Ms Levitt said: '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.
'Mr Turner has now been charged with criminal offences and has a right to a fair trial.
'As proceedings are now active, it would be inappropriate to say anything further at this stage.'
Le Vell, a father of two and originally from Manchester, is one of the shows most famous faces, with fans gripped by his tumultuous on and off relationship with on-screen wife Sally, played by Sally Dynevor.
His acting career began in the Oldham Theatre Workshop after he became interested in amateur dramatics at school.
His big break came when he won the part of Kevin Webster after auditioning following another role on the soap, as Neil Grimshaw, a newspaper delivery boy who worked at The Kabin.
He first appeared as Webster in the soap on October 19 1983, moving in with Hilda Ogden as her lodger and getting a job as an apprentice mechanic with Brian Tilsley.
Le Vell has featured in some of Coronation Street's most explosive storylines, most recently Webster's affair with Molly Dobbs.
The actor split from his wife Janette Beverley last year.