Actor Andrew Lancel accused of child sex offences
Former Coronation Street Star Andrew Lancel has protested his innocence after police charged him with five counts of sexually abusing a minor.
The actor, who left the hit soap opera in March, faces five counts of indecent assault on a child under 16. The charges, filed on Friday under the star's real name Andrew Watkinson, are thought to date back around 20 years ago to his time as a trainee actor.
The 42 year old has been released on bail and is due to appear at South Sefton Magistrates' Court on Merseyside on 19 December.
Lancel's solicitor, Stuart Nolan, tells The Sun that his client "strenuously denies the allegations", adding, "Mr Lancel was invited by police to co-operate with an inquiry by one complainant about events that allegedly took place over 20 years ago. He is confident his innocence will be established in the fullness of time."
A spokesman for Merseyside Police says, "Merseyside Police can confirm that a 42-year-old man has been charged with five offences of indecent assault on a child under 16 under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Andrew Watkinson, 42, was charged with the offences today. The offences are historic."
The actor, who is currently starring in a play called Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles in Liverpool, commented on Friday's dramatic events in a post on his Twitter.com page, writing, "My lovely followers and friends. Your support means the world. Have faith. Good night. See you soon."
what do you think?
I'm disgusted at the culture of hypocrisy at ITV. How long did they know about this, yet still employ him?
How on Earth could anyone know about someone's sexual activities over 20 years ago, to be fair? I'm sure no-one knows about mine!
Well, everyone knew about Savile, apparently (according to ITV).
I said this yesterday - if found guilty, by all means throw the book at the man. "Over 20 years ago" suggests he could have been a teenager and so it could have been that he was, say, a 17 year old with a 15 year old girlfriend who could now want to jump on a bandwagon. Or - most men's horror - it could well have been an older-looking 15 year old he's copped off with in a club when he was 20. It could, however, be that he was babysitting a 7 year old when events took place, which makes all the difference. Either way, I wish part stories would stop emerging and witch hunts weren't so readily begun.
Lee Wright Addy
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