British actor Michael Le Vell gagged a child with a teddy bear and told her she would "die" during a catalogue of sexual abuse spanning nine years, a court has heard.
Le Vell, a household name in the U.K. for playing a main character in hit soap opera Coronation Street for 30 years, is accused of assaulting the girl repeatedly between the ages of six and 14.
His trial began at Manchester Crown Court, England on Monday (02Sep13) and the jury was told that during the alleged abuse, Le Vell covered his victim's mouth with a cuddly toy to keep her quiet.
He allegedly told her he was trying to "get rid of the evil" and warned her that she would be "taken" and would "die" if anyone found about about the abuse.
Le Vell was arrested in 2011 but reportedly told cops the girl was a "fantasist" and an "attention-seeker".
He denies 12 sex abuse charges, including five counts of rape and three indecent assaults.
The trial continues.