Following the public exposure of late BBC celebrity Jimmy Savile as a pedophile monster who sexually abused hundreds of children over a period of decades — sometimes as part of a satanic ring, according to victims cited in news reports — British police announced last week that the investigation into child sex abuse was widening to include some members of Parliament. However, the police themselves are under fire for declining on multiple occasions to file charges against Savile, whose monstrous crime spree has been called “unprecedented” in U.K. history.
Savile hosted wildly popular television shows for the state-funded BBC and was something of a legend in the United Kingdom — he was even knighted by the Queen. However, during that time, the DJ and media celebrity had also been the target of numerous complaints over the years from individuals claiming he had sexually abused them. Many people he worked with knew. Despite several police investigations, the pedophile — who often bragged about his connections in the police force — was never prosecuted. He died a celebrity in 2011 at 84 years old.
Eventually, though, a documentary exposed Savile for what he was, and some 450 of his victims ranging in age from eight to 47 have since come forward. Experts say there could be many more, too. Law enforcement finally jumped on the case after Savile’s death, concluding in a report that he was involved in "vast, predatory and opportunistic" sexual abuses over a period of about 60 years. Almost 75 percent of his victims, mostly girls, were children. The monstrous attacks took place on BBC property, in hospitals Savile helped fund, and in other places where he could easily access vulnerable victims.
"It paints a stark picture emphasizing the tragic consequences of when vulnerability and power collide," Metropolitan Police Commander Peter Spindler said about the official report, touching on a recurring theme in these types of cases, most recently illustrated in the high-profile U.S. case of Penn State's Jerry Sandusky. "Savile's offending footprint was vast, predatory and opportunistic. He cannot face justice today but we hope this report gives some comfort to his hundreds of victims, they have been listened to and taken seriously. We must use the learning from these shocking events to prevent other children and vulnerable adults being abused in the future. They will get a voice."
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Photo of Palace of Westminster, London, U.K