LONDON – The late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile is a suspect in 199 crimes recorded so far, including dozens of cases of rape, British police said Wednesday. They described the level of sexual abuse allegations against Savile as "unprecedented in the U.K."
The accusations against Savile, who died last year at age 84, grew after five women said during a TV program broadcast in October that they had been sexually abused by the presenter. The claims triggered a scandal that rocked the BBC, which has been accused of failing to report allegations against Savile while making shows praising him.
Police said they are putting together a report on Savile's activities based on the alleged victims' evidence, expected to be published early next year. On Wednesday, police published an update on the probe with the following details:
--199 crimes have been recorded in 17 police force jurisdictions in which Savile is a suspect.
--31 rape allegations have been recorded against the disgraced children's television presenter.
--450 people have come forward with information relating to Savile, mainly alleging sexual abuse.
--Some 140 other people also have reported information relating to Savile acting with others, or others acting alone.
Most of those people who came forward were women who alleged sexual abuse when they were young, police said.
A broader police investigation into sex abuse spurred by the claims against Savile has so far detained seven suspects for questioning. They included former pop star Gary Glitter, 68, whose real name is Paul Gadd, and well-known publicist Max Clifford.
No criminal charges have been filed.
The BBC has also announced several investigations into the abuse claims and the network's polices during Savile's career.