U.K. police: 300 potential abuse victims of late BBC TV host Savile
Published: October 25, 2012 12:10PM
Updated: October 25, 2012 12:10PM
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FILE - This is a March 25, 2008 file photo of Sir Jimmy Savile, who for decades was a fixture on British television. A year after he died, aged 84 and honored as Sir Jimmy, several women have come forward to claim he was also a sexual predator and serial abuser of underage girls. The child abuse scandal that has enveloped the BBC, one of Britain's most respected news organizations, is now hitting one of America's, as the incoming president of The New York Times is on the defensive about his final days as head of the BBC. Mark Thompson was in charge of the BBC in late 2011 when the broadcaster shelved what would have been a bombshell investigation alleging that the late Savile was a serial sex offender. (AP Photo/ Lewis Whyld/PA, File)

London • British police say 300 potential victims of a disgraced BBC entertainer, the late Jimmy Savile, have come forward so far since details emerged earlier this month that he was among the country’s most prolific sex offenders.

Commander Peter Spindler of Scotland Yard said Thursday the Savile case marked a “watershed” moment for the victims of childhood sexual abuse, since many now felt able for the first time to contact British police.

He told reporters, of the 300 people who have come forward so far, officers had spoken to 130 potential victims who have made 114 separate allegations of sexual assault.

“On the victims, we are more or less at the 300 figure ... It is quite staggering the number of women, and this is primarily women — we have only got two men in the system so far,” Spindler said.

Spindler said although the majority of cases related to Savile alone, some involved the former television presenter and other unidentified suspects acting together. He said some who came forward with abuse cases linked to Savile also had other abuse cases that did not involve Savile.

He declined to say how many other people may be involved in the allegations of abuse or specify whether any of those suspects are still alive.

“There’s Savile on his own, and that’s the vast majority of what we’re being told about, there’s Savile and others — and it’s the others, if they’re living, we can look at them,” he said.

He confirmed that police could seek to prosecute any suspects who are still living, but said no one has been arrested or questioned so far.

The BBC has been rocked by allegations that Savile sexually abused underage teens over several decades, sometimes on BBC premises. Some of the alleged victims have accused other entertainers and BBC staff of participating in the abuse.