'Coronation Street' actor cleared of sex charges

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Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, centre, makes his way to his car as he leaves Manchester Crown Court, Manchester, England, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. Le Vell, 48, denies 12 charges including five of rape. The soap star, who has played garage mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap for 30 years, is being tried under his real name Michael Turner. (AP Photo/Jon Super).

LONDON (AP) — A British jury has cleared Michael Le Vell, a longtime star of the British soap opera "Coronation Street," of child sex abuse charges.

The 48-year-old actor was found not guilty Tuesday of 12 offenses, including five counts of rape.

Le Vell is a nationally known figure because of his 30 years playing mechanic Kevin Webster on the popular television show, which is set in a fictional working-class district in northwestern England.

The actor had been taken off the show after he was charged in February. Producers left open the possibility that he could be brought back if found innocent.

He was cleared after an eight-day trial at Manchester Crown Court.