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January 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The recipient of numerous honors for his work to raise funds for children’s charities in the U.K., the late BBC host Jimmy Savile used his privileged position (he was knighted by the Pope and Queen Elizabeth) to sexually abuse children as young as 8 during a period covering some 54 years, according to a report released today (Friday) by British police and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Many of his alleged crimes took place at the institutions his fund-raising efforts were aiding, including mental health units at hospitals and a home for disturbed girls. They also took place at the BBC, where he hosted the popular Top of the Pops musical show. The report claimed that more than 450 victims have come forth to describe their experiences with Savile when they were children. In a separate statement, the Crown Prosecution Service, which advises police on whether to pursue allegations of criminal acts, apologized for its “shortcomings” in not taking the claims of three victims who came forward in 2009 seriously enough. At a news conference, Peter Watt, NSPCC director of child protection advice and awareness, said, “The sheer scale of Savile’s abuse over six decades simply beggars belief. He is without doubt one of the most prolific sex offenders we have ever come across and every number represents a victim that will never get justice now he is dead.”