William Roache, the actor who plays Ken Barlow on Coronation Street, has been found not guilty on rape and other sex charges.
Roache was cleared by jury of raping a 15 year old and sexually assaulting 4 other teenage girls during the 1960s and 70s. Of course, there was no physical evidence after so long, so it came down to Roache’s word against the women’s. The eloquent Roache won over the jury with his candour. He admitted to cheating on his now dead wife, but that he wasn’t interested in young girls. He said he liked “mature and willing” women.
One has to wonder why the alleged victims came forward so many years after the alleged assaults. The women are now in their 50s and 60s. One theory is that the alleged victims were angry after Roache said in a New Zealand TV interview that victims of sexual abuse brought it on themselves. The Daily Mirror reported in March 2013:
In an astonishing TV interview, the Coronation Street star said it was easy for famous men to be “trapped” by adoring young groupies who throw themselves at them.
And he said of the victims: “If you accept that you are pure love, and if you know that you are pure love and therefore live that pure love, these things won’t happen to you.”
The remark prompted interviewer Garth Bray to ask: “To some people that sounds perhaps like you’re saying victims bring things on themselves – is that what you’re saying?”
Roache replied: “Not quite, but then yes I am, because everything that happens to us has been a result of what we have been in previous lives.”
The defence claimed that the women were jumping on the Jimmy Savile bandwagon.
Regardless of anyone’s motives, we must all remember that Roache has been found not guilty. He will be returning to his role of Ken Barlow on the long-running TV soap drama Coronation Street, where fellow actors Michael Le Velle and Andrew Lancel were also accused and cleared of sex crimes. So, unless the Crown Prosecution Service want a “second bite of the cherry”, which is highly unlikely, we must accept he is innocent and not have any of this “no smoke without fire” nonsense.