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Savile report details child sex abuse

The Associated Press, Friday, January 11, 2013, 2:35am (PST)

LONDON (AP) — British police say the late entertainer Jimmy Savile committed more than 200 sex crimes over more than half a century, with most victims children and teens assaulted the length and breadth of Britain, from TV studios to hospitals and even a hospice.

Police said in a report released Friday that the scale of Savile's sex abuse was "unprecedented in the UK." They have recorded 214 offenses committed by Savile, including 34 rapes. In all, 450 people have come forward with information about abuse by the late TV presenter.

The alleged crimes took place between 1955 and 2009.

Victims ranged from a 10-year-old boy sexually assaulted after he asked for an autograph to children groped when they attended a popular music show, and pupils at a school for troubled girls who were offered cigarettes and trips in Savile's car in return for sex.

The BBC has faced heavy criticism for its coverage of the allegations against Savile.

Police said Savile used his celebrity status to "hide in plain sight" while abusing children and adults.

Commander Peter Spindler of the Metropolitan Police said Savile's offending was "vast, predatory and opportunistic."

Savile abused victims at 57 medical establishments, including mental care facilities and a hospice, as well as 14 schools and 33 television or radio studios; 73 percent of his victims were under 18.

Police found no "clear evidence" suggesting Savile was part of a pedophile ring.

"The details provided by victims of his abuse paint the picture of a mainly opportunistic individual who used his celebrity status as a powerful tool to coerce or control them, preying on the vulnerable or star-struck for his sexual gratification," the police report said.

No charges were ever brought against the BBC entertainer, who hosted several popular shows during his long career.

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