Andrew Lancel once played a rapist in a TV soap opera. Yesterday at Liverpool Crown Court he was himself cleared of historical sexual offences.
The jury took a mere 29 minutes to clear him, which shows what they thought of the accusations, and that in spite of some unfortunate comments from the judge.
Andrew Lancel has appeared on TV screens in the UK fairly regularly since 1993. His last role was as a businessman who, after being treated shabbily by his partner, decided she needed to be punished. This resulted in his character standing trial for rape, and being acquitted.
With the Jimmy Savile revelations, there was a deluge of arrests of celebrities for alleged sexual offences. Andrew Lancel is of a younger generation than Savile, but in addition to his brief role as a plausible rapist in a business suit, he had appeared in a TV series Queer As Folk. No duckie, that word is only homophobic when it is used by us straights.
It may have been that combination that led to Andrew Lancel’s arrest. His trial opened earlier this month, and yesterday he was cleared of four counts of indecently assaulting a boy of 15; the judge also directed the jury to find him not guilty of two other offences, but added the curious rider: “...it is important that the complainant, who is clearly scarred by an experience, should understand that the jury verdicts does not necessarily involve rejection of his account of a sexual encounter or encounters with the defendant.”
As with female victims of sexual assaults – real and imagined – this one can hide behind a cloak of anonymity and throw as much mud as he likes. It may take a year or two before we see how much of it sticks in this particular case, but at the moment two other members of the Coronation Street cast are facing similar but far more serious charges, like these ones of an historical nature. The charges against Andrew Lancel dated to 1994; those against William Roache date to the 1960s.
The lesson to be learned from all of this is that if you are the slightest bit famous, don’t go to parties, don’t crack a joke that could be construed as mildly sexual, don’t make friends outside of work, and don’t ever find yourself alone with another woman. Or man. Or especially a teenager, even if you are not much more than one yourself. And keep a diary in case someone points the finger at you two decades or more later.
The man in the suit beats a rape charge; appearances can be everything, including deceptive.
[The above article was published originally as (the grammatically incorrect) Andrew Lancel cleared of historic sexual assaults on June 11, 2013 with 2 photographs; the second photograph – here – was uploaded by me. The first was a stock photograph; it has been replaced here with a photograph of Andrew Lancel. Both William Roache and Michael Le Vell (the latter of whom is not named in the text) were acquitted of all charges; the former is mentioned briefly in the video Rolf Harris And You. The reference to the Jimmy Savile revelations is more properly alluded to as the Jimmy Savile allegations – ie lies.]
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