William Roache, the world’s longest-serving soap opera actor, according to Guinness World Records, has been charged with two counts of rape of an underage girl, reports Reuters.
British prosecutors tells the news outlet there is sufficient evidence to bring charges against him for the crime of rape, which was allegedly committed in 1967.
“We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Roache to be charged with two offences of rape relating to a girl, aged 15, in 1967,” says prosecutor Nazir Afzal in a statement.
A spokesman for the Lancashire Police tells the BBC, “We take all allegations of sexual abuse extremely seriously and would
encourage people with any information about sexual abuse, or anyone who
has been a victim of sexual abuse, to come forward and report their
concerns confident in the knowledge they will be investigated
appropriately and with sensitivity.”
Roache has played Ken Barlow on popular U.K. soap “Coronation Street” since its inception in 1960. He would have been 35 at the time of the alleged rape. He is expected to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court in northern England on May 14.