13 Dec 2012

Savile accused of 31 rapes - UK police

10:20 am on 13 December 2012

British police say the late television star Jimmy Savile is now a suspect in 199 crimes, including 31 rapes.

Detectives launched an inquiry 10 weeks ago following allegations that Savile, who died last year, had abused young girls on BBC premises and at hospitals where he did charity work.

Since then, 450 people had come forward with allegations, mostly dealing with sexual abuse.

In their most comprehensive review of the scandal, the police said the vast majority of the suspected crimes involved children or young people.

The extent of sexual abuse allegations against a single individual is unprecedented in Britain, 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.

So far six men have been arrested and another questioned by London police, Reuters reports.

Those quizzed include Max Clifford, Britain's most high-profile celebrity publicist, former BBC radio DJ Dave Lee Travis and former glam-rock singer Gary Glitter.

They have all denied any wrongdoing.

A one-time professional wrestler with a penchant for garish outfits, Savile became famous as a pioneering DJ in the 1960s before hosting prime-time TV shows until the 1990s.

He ran about 200 marathons for charity, raising tens of millions of pounds for hospitals, leading some to give him keys to rooms where victims now allege they were abused.