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"Coronation Street" actor Michael Le Vell charged with child sex offenses

London police have charged Michael Le Vell, a longtime star of the British soap opera "Coronation Street," with child sex offenses.

Le Vell, who has played mechanic Kevin Webster on the show for 30 years, faces 19 charges including rape and indecent assault. Police say the charges relate to offenses against a child between 2001 and 2010.

The 48-year-old actor, whose real name is Michael Turner, released a statement Friday saying he would vigorously contest the charges.

"I will now put all my efforts into clearing my name and proving my innocence," he said.

He was originally arrested and questioned in 2011, but released without charge. Prosecutors said Friday they had overturned that decision.

Le Vell is due in court on Feb. 27.

"Coronation Street," set in a fictional working-class district in northwestern England, is one of the most popular programs on British television.

Broadcaster ITV said Le Vell would not appear in any episodes of the soap opera pending the outcome of his trial.

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