CORONATION Street actor Michael Le Vell, who plays garage boss Kevin Webster in the TV soap, has been charged with child sex offences.
Le Vell, 47, whose real name is Michael Turner, is accused of 19 sex offences including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.
Le Vell, a stalwart on the popular ITV series, will appear in court in two weeks time, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.
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He was first arrested in September 2011 and questioned over alleged child sex offences, but the matter was later dropped.
But late last night GMP said the actor, from Hale, Cheshire, had been charged with sex offences against a youngster after a review of evidence by lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
A spokeswoman from GMP said: "A man has been charged with 19 child sex offences.
"Michael Turner, of Byrom Street, Hale, has been charged with 19 offences including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.
"He is due to appear at Manchester Magistrates on Wednesday February 27.
"The charges, which were authorised by the CPS following a review of evidence, relate to offences against a child between 2001 and 2010."
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 to charge Mr Turner with nineteen offences, including rape of a child.
"Mr Turner has now been charged with criminal offences and has a right to a fair trial. It is vital that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial."