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Abuse allegations against late UK host Jimmy Savile

LONDON -- For decades, Jimmy Savile was a fixture on British television, an eccentric, aggressively jocular host of children's shows and a tireless charity fundraiser. When he died last year at 84, by then knighted as Sir Jimmy, he drew tributes from Prince Charles and thousands of fans.

Now several women have come forward to claim "Sir Jimmy" was also a sexual predator who abused underage girls.

The allegations have set off ripples of shock -- but not of surprise. There had, colleagues said, long been rumors. The main question being asked now is: Why did no one do anything?

"Maybe it was just the fact that Jimmy knew everybody," Esther Rantzen, founder of the ChildLine child-protection charity, told Channel 4 news. "We made him into the Jimmy Savile who was untouchable, who nobody could criticize."

Child protection advocates say the case fits a pattern. Authorities were criticized, also, for failing to report claims of abuse against Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. -- AP

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