Updated at: 05/02/2013 12:35 PM
(AP) LONDON - A longtime star of British soap opera "Coronation Street" has vowed to fight charges he raped a 15-year-old girl in 1967.
William Roache said in a statement Thursday he is "deeply horrified" by the charges and "strenuously" denies them.
The 81-year-old actor has played Ken Barlow on the popular show since it was first broadcast in 1960. The soap, set in a fictional working-class district in northwestern England, is among the longest-running programs on British television.
He is charged with raping the girl between April and July of 1967. He is scheduled to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court on May 14.
Roache was arrested at his home Wednesday. Broadcaster ITV said Roache wouldn’t appear in "Coronation Street" until his legal case was over.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)