LONDON – A British children’s charity says at least 500 people have reported abuse by the late entertainer Jimmy Savile, with the youngest alleged victim just 2 years old.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said Monday that the most common age group for victims was 13 to 15.
Peter Watt, the charity’s director of child protection, said Savile was a “prolific sex offender . . . (who) lost no opportunity to identify vulnerable victims and abuse them.”
The cigar-chomping, platinum-haired Savile was a British television fixture for several decades, but after his death at 84 in 2011, witnesses and victims came forward to accuse him of sexual abuse. Police have since described the television and radio presenter as a serial sexual predator who used his fame to target young and mostly female victims, from star-struck teens at television recordings to patients in hospital beds.
A police investigation concluded last year that Savile’s abuse spanned half a century and included at least 214 offenses, most against victims under 18.
The NSPCC researched Savile’s crimes as part of a BBC documentary to be aired Monday.
It found more alleged victims than previously thought at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital. Police say they have received 16 allegations of abuse inside the institution.
Savile visited frequently as part of his charity work and was given his own set of keys to the hospital. In 1988, he was hired as an adviser to help resolve staff-management tensions at Broadmoor.