Bill Roache, also known as William Roache, was arrested at his Cheshire home on Wednesday, May 1 and faced two rape charges after being accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl in Lancashire, England, more than four decades ago. Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said that he had been reviewing the case since March 1 this year.
"We have carefully considered all the evidence gathered by Lancashire Police in relation to William Roache following allegations of rape," said Afzal. "Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr. Roache to be charged with two offenses of rape relating to a girl, aged 15, in 1967."
Roache, who has been playing Ken Barlow on ITV's "The Coronation Street" for five decades, won't be featured on the program due to the arrest. A spokesman for ITV declined to comment on the case, saying, "Given that a police investigation is under way, it would not be appropriate for us to comment."
When Roache was interviewed for a New Zealand news program a few months ago, he suggested that victims of sex crimes were being punished for past sins. "If you accept that you are pure love, and if you know that you are pure love... these things won't happen to you," he said at that time. "Everything that happens to us has been a result of what we have been in previous lives or whatever."
In March, Roache issued an apology, saying that he was "sorry for any offence that has been caused as a result of my comments."