Coronation Street star William Roache pleads not guilty to sex offence charges

The actor will now face trial at Preston Crown Court in January 2014

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Coronation Street actor William Roache has pleaded not guilty to rape and indecent assault charges.

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Roache, who plays Ken Barlow in the ITV soap, answered “not guilty” at Preston Crown Court this morning as a list of allegations were read out.

The actor, 81, will now face a trial in January 2014 following his denial of two counts of raping a 15-year-old girl in 1967 as well as five counts of indecent assault involving four young girls during the same decade.

In a statement made back in June, Mr Roache’s lawyer Brian Russell said that the soap star “looks forward to standing before a jury where he will vigorously protest his innocence against what he regards as deeply upsetting allegations made against him”.

William Roache remains on bail with various conditions including that he must have no direct unsupervised contact with anyone under 16 and must not approach named witnesses.

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He will also not be appearing on Coronation Street until legal proceedings are concluded. Ken’s absence was recently put down to an impromptu trip that the character had to make to Canada.