Coronation Street veteran William ‘Bill’ Roache has pleaded not guilty today at Preston Crown Court to all charges of rape and indecent assault.
The 81-year-old, who has played Ken Barlow since the soap’s launch, was arrested at his Wilmslow home in May and charged of two counts of raping a 15-year-old in 1967.
He was later additionally charged with five indecent assaults involving four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16, allegedly committed in the Manchester area between 1965 and 1968.
Roache said he was ‘astounded and deeply horrified’ by the accusations after his arrest and vowed to ‘strenuously deny’ the allegations.
At an earlier hearing a provisional trial date was set for January 13 next year.
Roache is on bail with various conditions including residence, no direct unsupervised contact with anyone under 16 and not to approach named witnesses.
He has been written out of Coronation Street until police investigation ends and his waxwork was removed from Madame Tussauds after unacceptable behaviour from guests.
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