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Coronation Street's William Roache denies child rape

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Media captionWilliam Roache, was surrounded by photographers when he arrived for the hearing

Coronation Street star William Roache has pleaded not guilty to rape and indecent assault charges.

Mr Roache, 81, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, denied two counts of raping a 15-year-old girl in East Lancashire in 1967.

He also denied five counts of indecent assault involving four girls in Manchester in the mid to late 1960s.

The actor, who plays Ken Barlow, will now face a trial at Preston Crown Court in January.

'Deeply horrified'

An ITV spokesman previously confirmed Mr Roache would not be appearing in the soap until legal proceedings had concluded.

Mr Roache was arrested at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, in May and charged with two counts of raping a 15-year-old girl in Haslingden, Lancashire, in 1967.

He was later additionally charged with five indecent assaults involving four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16, allegedly committed in the Manchester area between 1965 and 1968.

At Preston Crown Court he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

He remains on bail.

When he was initially charged, Mr Roache said he was "astounded and deeply horrified" by the accusations and vowed to "strenuously deny" the allegations.

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