William Roache vows to fight 1967 rape charge

Coronation Street star William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, has vowed to fight charges he raped a 15-year-old girl in 1967.

Roache said in a statement today he was “deeply horrified” by the charges and “strenuously” denied them.

The 81-year-old actor has played Barlow on the popular show since it was first broadcast in 1960. The soap, set in a fictional working-class district in northwestern England, is among the longest-running programmes on British television.

He is charged with raping the girl between April and July of 1967. He is scheduled to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court on May 14.

Roache was arrested at his home yesterday. Broadcaster ITV said Roache wouldn’t appear in Coronation Street until his legal case was over.

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– AP