For 30 years, Michael Le Vell has played a part on Britain’s enduring soap opera “Coronation Street.” In real life, it turns out, he was living a kind of soap-operatic drama: On Friday, he was charged with an alarming number of sex offenses, including “raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.” Le Vell, whose real name is Michael Turner, will appear in court on February 27 to face charges stemming from an investigation of his activities — a total of nine years, between 2001 and 2010.
The father of two separated from his wife in 2011, shortly before he was arrested on suspicion of a sex offense involving a young girl. At the time, he “strenuously” denied the accusation, vowing to “do everything in my power to prove my innocence.” The investigation was dropped three months later due to insufficient evidence, and Le Vell declared himself “completely exonerated.”
Now, it appears that declaration of “complete” exoneration may have been a little hasty. Yet Le Vell issued a statement Friday saying, “I would like to make it quite clear that following the serious allegations that have been brought against me on Thursday 14th February 2013, I am innocent of these charges and intend to fight them vigorously. I will now put all my efforts into clearing my name and proving my innocence.” But while the specific nature of the newest charges has yet to be revealed, the breadth of the investigation suggests there’s a lot more to come here. Principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Levitt told the Daily Mail Friday, “I have very carefully reviewed the evidence in this case and I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Michael Robert Turner with a number of sexual offenses.”