Roache ‘rape victim’ tells jury she felt humiliated

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An alleged rape victim of Coronation Street star William Roache was so “humiliated” at the attack she kept it a secret at the time, a jury has heard.

Preston Crown Court has been told she was a “gullible kid” who was raped twice in 1967 at the actor’s then home in Lancashire – the first time when she was a 15-year-old virgin.

Her complaint to the police last March led to Roache, who has played Ken Barlow since the launch of the ITV soap, being charged two months later.

In the publicity that followed, four women came forward alleging that Roache had sexually abused them.

Roache, 81, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, denies the rapes and five counts of indecent assault involving the four other complainants aged 16 and under on dates between 1965 and 1971.

The first rape was said to have taken place weeks after Roache’s then wife, Anna Cropper, gave birth to their daughter Vanya.

Under cross-examination from Louise Blackwell QC, the complainant said Roache did not say anything or threaten her before she left the address.

The woman said she did not tell her family or friends about what happened and went to school the next day. “I was humiliated, disgusted and ashamed,” she said. “I was so shocked. I would never have mentioned it because I had been so gullible to have been caught in that situation.”

Later in the year, she said, she could not remember Roache saying anything after he allegedly pushed her against a wall of an adjoining property he owned and raped her again. She said she was invited into the cottage but was under the impression that an elderly woman was living there.

The woman said that she had watched Coronation Street before the alleged rapes and continued do so after. “There’s no threat when he is on television,” she said.

The witness said she could not remember all the “minor details” of the allegations.

She said she now had problems with her short-term memory because of health reasons. But it had been confirmed medically that her long-term memory was fine, she said.

The trial continues on Monday.