Arrest made in BBC sex abuse scandal

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 28, 2012 19:40 hrs

The British police made an arrest on Sunday in the widening inquiry into the sexual-abuse scandal surrounding the BBC television star Jimmy Savile.

The Metropolitan Police did not identify the man that had been arrested, saying only that he was in his A60s. But the British news media, including the BBC, widely reported that the man, who was being held at a London police station, was the 1970s pop star Gary Glitter, who is a convicted pedophile.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the man was arrested shortly after 7 am on Sunday “on suspicion of sexual offenses.” The arrest is part of a widening police inquiry known as Operation Yewtree into “Jimmy Savile and others,” the spokesman said.

Last week, police officials said that some 300 people had come forward claiming that Savile had assaulted them.

Before his death last year, Savile was one of Britain’s most famous television hosts, known for his charity work, his garish tracksuits and his peroxided hair. He was long dogged by rumours of inappropriate behaviour with underage girls.

The case did not break open until after Savile’s death at the age of 84 last October. Both Savile and Glitter have been accused of abusing children in the BBC’s studios.

The BBC has come under withering criticism after an investigation into the accusations against Savile by the current affairs programme “Newsnight” was abruptly cancelled. Chris Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, which oversees the broadcaster, said in an article in The Sunday Mail that the BBC’s “reputation is on the line” and that the organisation “risks squandering public trust” as a result of the scandal.

Patten also apologised “unreservedly” to the victims who spoke to the “Newsnight” programme, “presumably at great personal pain, yet did not have their stories told as they expected.”

Glitter, a glam-rock star whose real name is Paul Gadd, was convicted in Britain in 1999 on charges of possessing child pornography. He served nearly three years in prison in Vietnam for sexually abusing two girls, aged 11 and 12 years.

© 2012 The New York Times News Service

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