Late BBC star Savile suspected of 199 crimes: UK police

Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:39pm EST
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - British television star Jimmy Savile is suspected of carrying out an unprecedented number of sex offences including 31 rapes, police said on Wednesday in their most comprehensive review of the scandal.

Revelations about Savile, who died last year, provoked outrage across Britain where he had been a household name since the 1960s.

News of Savile's crimes threw his main employer the BBC into turmoil, led to resignation of the BBC's director general just 54 days into his job and provoked awkward questions for his predecessor Mark Thompson, who recently took over as chief executive of the New York Times.

Detectives launched their inquiry 10 weeks ago following reports in a TV documentary that Savile had abused young girls on BBC premises and at hospitals where he did charity work.

Since then, 450 people had come forward with allegations about Savile, mostly dealing with sexual abuse, said police.

Savile was now a suspect in 199 crimes, the vast majority of them involving children or young people, the force added.

"These levels of reporting of sexual abuse against a single individual are unprecedented in the UK," the police said in a statement.

Detectives have been examining three categories of alleged offences: those involving only Savile, which make up the majority of cases; those involving Savile and others; and those which had no direct link to Savile.   Continued...

Disgraced British entertainer Jimmy Savile is seen arriving at the unveiling of a new monument, commemorating the fighter pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain, in London in this September 18, 2005 file photograph. REUTERS/Paul Hackett/Files