Michael Le Vell, Coronation Street's Kevin Webster, Will Not Appear On The Soap While Under Investigation For Child Sex Offences

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'Coronation Street' actor Michael Le Vell, who plays garage boss Kevin Webster, won't appear in any episodes of the ITV soap while under investigation for child sex offences.

Le Vell, 47, whose real name is Michael Turner, has been charged with 19 sex offences including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.

An ITV spokesman told The Huffington Post UK: "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.”

kevin webster

Michael Le Vell at the National Television Awards 2012

He has starred as a mechanic on Corrie for almost 30 years, after first appearing in 1983 as an apprentice mechanic working for Brian Tilsley (Chris Quinten).

He quickly endeared himself to fans that have followed the trials and tribulations of Kevin, from his stormy marriage to Sally, played by Sally Dynevor, and fathering two teenage girls as well as a love child from his affair with Molly Dobbs.

Le Vell is currently involved in some of the soap's main storylines but will now appear in court in two weeks' time.

He was first arrested in September 2011 and questioned over alleged child sex offences, but the matter was later dropped.

But late on Thursday 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 adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions, had reviewed a file of evidence in relation to allegations of sexual offences and looked again at a decision previously made not to prosecute.

Ms Levitt 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 Turner with 19 offences, including rape of a child.

"Turner has now been charged with criminal offences and has a right to a fair trial.

"As proceedings are now active, it would be inappropriate to say anything further at this stage."

Le Vell, a father of two, was not charged with offences after his initial arrest in September 2011 and the investigation was dropped three months later in late December, when the authorities said there would be no further action taken against him as there was not enough evidence to charge him.

At the time the actor said he was "delighted" to have been "completely exonerated", thanked police for their "thorough" investigation and Coronation Street staff and the public for their support.

Le Vell vowed to put the allegations behind him and returned to the show after a short break.

Le Vell, originally from Manchester, began his acting career in the Oldham Theatre Workshop after taking an interest in amateur dramatics while at school.

The actor split from his wife Janette Beverley last year.

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