Former BBC presenter sexual abuse inquiry widens

Former BBC presenter sexual abuse inquiry widens
Jimmy Savile

LONDON - Investigations into sexual abuse by late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile have widened after a wave of new allegations, the British Health Secretary said on Thursday.

In all 41 National Health Service organisations are now investigating abuse by Savile, one of the biggest TV stars in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, revealed as a prolific sex abuser after his death.

Inquiries at 28 hospitals, published in June, found that Savile abused vulnerable patients in scores of hospitals and claimed to have performed oral sex acts on dead bodies.

Lawyers for Savile's victims said that it was concerning to see new worries emerge.

"It is incredibly worrying to see more concerns related to Savile emerge and it is vital that authorities work quickly to fully investigate these new allegations," said Tracey Storey, a lawyer representing several victims.

"The extent of the abuse highlighted by previous and ongoing investigations has been truly horrifying, and the revelation of further allegations raises even more concerns regarding his activities and how he was able to offend over a number of years."

An investigation into alleged abuse by Savile in schools and children's homes would be delayed, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.

"I wish to advise the House that there will be a delay in the publication of the outstanding NHS investigation reports," Hunt said in a written ministerial statement.

"We now hope trusts will publish their reports in January 2015."

The transformation of the image of a once-celebrated TV figure shocked Britain and prompted national soul-searching.

A wide-ranging investigation into how British institutions dealt with the protection of children from sexual abuse was launched in the wake of a series of high-profile historical cases.

Caroline Moore, 55, said Savile attacked her in a hospital in Buckinghamshire when she was recovering from spinal fusion treatment aged 13, and that she and other victims deserved redress.

"What I want, what the victims want, is to find out the truth. What I find horrific is that people who worked at these organisations knew what was going on, and did nothing about it," Moore said.

"The aim of all these inquiries must be to make sure this can never happen again. Predators like Savile must never be able to prey on the vulnerable again."

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