* Top radio broadcaster faces 14 sex abuse charges
* Australia's Rolf Harris to plead not guilty on 16 charges
* More victims spoke out after Jimmy Savile revelations
By Belinda Goldsmith
LONDON, Jan 14 The first in a list of ageing
celebrities accused of sexually abusing young fans over many
years went on trial on Tuesday in an investigation that has
rocked confidence in the BBC, Britain's national broadcaster.
One of Britain's best-known radio DJs in the 1970s and
1980s, the BBC's Dave Lee Travis, who counted Myanmar's Aung San
Suu Kyi among his fans, is facing 14 charges involving 11 women
aged from 15 upwards that date from between 1976 and 2008.
UK-based Australian entertainer Rolf Harris was also due in
court on Tuesday to enter a plea to 16 offences dating back to
the 1980s, one allegedly involving a girl aged seven or eight.
The charges stem from a police investigation launched after
the 2011 death of one of the BBC's top TV presenters, Jimmy
Savile, who turned out to have been a prolific sex predator over
There are now several investigations into Savile's case with
victims mulling compensation and calling for a single judge-led
inquiry into how the DJ was able to evade justice for so long.
The BBC has ordered an independent review into revelations
that Savile abused hundreds of children in hospitals and on BBC
premises. The report is due within weeks.
To date, police have arrested 16 former celebrities and show
business figures, laying charges against four, releasing six on
bail and taking no further action against six.
Critics have asked why the BBC and police did not act at the
time when victims complained. Some celebrities have voiced
concern the investigation has become a "witch-hunt" with
innocent people linked to paedophile Savile but never charged.
Child welfare campaigners said the publicity had encouraged
people to speak up. The National Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said reports of sex abuse of
children aged under 11 rose 16 percent last year.
"This highlights the urgent need to tackle this problem from
an early age," said NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless.
Travis, 68, arrived at Southwark Crown Court in London on
Tuesday to a waiting scrum of media.
The presenter, who also hosted the TV show "Top of the Pops"
in the 1980s, has denied 13 counts of indecent assault and one
of sexual assault. His trial is set to last six weeks.
Rolf Harris is due to stand trial in April on 12 charges of
indecent assault and four counts of making indecent images of a
child . The alleged offences date from 1968 to 2012, with one
involving a girl aged seven or eight.
Harris, 83, a family favourite in Australia and Britain for
over 50 years, has indicated he will plead not guilty.
The entertainer made his name hosting TV shows and producing
chart hits including "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport". A keen
artist, he painted Queen Elizabeth's portrait in 2005 and
performed at the Queen's 2012 Diamond Jubilee concert.
The inquiry has also led to charges being laid against
celebrity publicist Max Clifford who faces trial in March. A
former BBC chauffeur who was also charged and due to stand trial
committed suicide last October.
(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; Editing by Tom Heneghan)