Michael Le Vell denies child sex charges
'Coronation Street' actor Michael Le Vell has vowed to put "all his efforts" into clearing his name after he was charged with 19 child sex offences
Michael Le Vell will put "all his efforts" into clearing his name after being charged with child sex offences.
The 'Coronation Street' star - who has portrayed Kevin Webster on the ITV soap for 30 years - has been accused of 19 child sex offences, but he insists he is innocent and has vowed to fight the allegations "vigorously".
He said in a statement: "I would like to make it quite clear that following the serious allegations that have been brought against me on Thursday February 14 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.
"I thank my friends, family and fans for their continued support.
"I would ask now for time to concentrate on preparing my defence with my legal team."
As a result of the charges against Michael - who is next due in magistrates court in Manchester on February 27 - ITV have suspended the 48-year-old actor from the soap pending his case.
An ITV spokesman said: "Given the serious nature of these charges, Michael Le Vell will not be appearing in 'Coronation Street' pending the outcome of legal proceedings. It would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this time."
Michael - a father of two whose real name is Michael Turner - was first arrested and questioned over alleged child offences in September 2011, but he strenuously denied the claims and the matter was later dropped.
However, after a review of the evidence, he has now been charged over the alleged offences, relating to incidents from 2001 to 2010.
Speaking yesterday (14.02.13), Alison Levitt QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "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 offences.
"I have authorised Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to charge Mr Turner with 19 offences, including rape of a child."
A spokeswoman from GMP said: "A man has been charged with 19 child sex offences.
"Michael Turner has been charged with 19 offences including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.
"The charges, which were authorised by the CPS following a review of evidence, relate to offences against a child between 2001 and 2010."