Andrew Lancel, the 42 year-old former Coronation Street actor appeared in court yesterday (April 15, 2013), to deny charges of sexually assaulting a teenage boy. Lancel – real name Andrew Watkinson – was originally charged last November and pleaded not guilty yesterday to six counts of indecent assault of a child under the age of 15. According to a report from the Daily Mail, the charges all relate to one male, who alleges that the offences occurred between 1993 and 1994.

Lancel is best known for his role as Frank Foster, the factory boss in the TV soap. He featured in the programme between March 2011 and March 2012, when his character was killed off. Prior to joining the show, he had played Detective Inspector Neil Manson in The Bill. He appeared at Liverpool Crown Court dressed in a grey suit, white shirt and grey and black tie. His wife Louise accompanied him as he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was granted bail, until his trial starts on June 3, 2013. It is expected to last five days. He was originally arrested last November and the accusations made against him forced him to withdraw from a Christmas pantomime that he was starring in.

Lancel’s lawyer, Stuart Nolan, spoke last year when they allegations were originally made, insisting that his client would walk away from the accusations with his reputation intact. He revealed that Lancel “Strenuously denies the allegations” and was “confident his innocence will be established.” 

Andrew LancelAndrew Lancel, arriving at court with his wife yesterday