Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell dropped by ITV amid child rape charges
Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell has been charged with 19 sex offences, including raping a child.
The actor, who plays Kevin Webster in the soap, faces charges relating to crimes allegedly committed between 2001 and 2010.
The 48-year-old is accused of indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.
Le Vell, whose real name is Michael Turner, is due to appear before magistrates in Manchester on February 27.
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Le Vell was first arrested in September 2011 and questioned over alleged child sex offences, but the matter was later dropped.
Alison Levitt QC, principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said she had reviewed a decision not to prosecute Mr Le Vell following allegations made against him in 2011.
She 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 19 offences, including rape of a child.
"Mr Turner has now been charged with criminal offences and has a right to a fair trial."
ITV said the actor has been pulled off air pending the outcome of legal proceedings.
Le Vell, a father of two and originally from Manchester, is one of Coronation Street's most famous faces, having played the role of garage mechanic Kevin Webster for 30 years.