LONDON — A longtime star of British soap opera "Coronation Street" already facing trial for rape was charged Thursday with five counts of indecent assault on young girls dating back to the 1960s.
The charges against 81-year-old William Roache come on top of two counts of rape the soap actor already is facing involving a 15-year-old girl about three decades ago.
Prosecutor Nazir Afzal said the allegations of indecent assault were made to police after Roache was charged with rape in May. He said the five charges of indecent assault relate to four different girls, between the ages of 11 or 12 and 17 at the times of the alleged offenses. Three of the offenses allegedly took place in 1965 and two in 1968, he added in a statement.
Roache, who has played Ken Barlow on the series since its first episode in 1960, will appear in court Friday. He has previously vowed to fight the rape charges.
"Coronation Street," set in a fictional working-class district in northwestern England, is among the longest-running programs on British television. Roache won't appear on the soap while legal proceedings are ongoing.