'Coronation Street' actor charged over rape claims

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Associated Press

Posted on May 1, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 1 at 3:06 PM

LONDON (AP) — A longtime star of British soap opera "Coronation Street" has been charged with two counts of rape involving a 15-year-old girl in 1967, prosecutors said Wednesday.

William Roache, 81, was arrested earlier Wednesday and will appear in court May 14. He has played Ken Barlow on the series since its first episode in 1960.

The soap, set in a fictional working-class district in northwestern England, is among the most popular and longest-running programs on British television.

Police stood guard outside Roache's Wilmslow house earlier in the day. The arrest is not part of Operation Yewtree, the sex abuse investigation established after revelations about the late entertainer Jimmy Saville.

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