UK police: 300 potential Savile abuse victims
LONDON (AP) – 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.