Ex-BBC DJ, lauded by Suu Kyi, charged with sex crimes

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 15, 2013 11:42 AM
Ex-BBC DJ, lauded by Suu Kyi, charged with sex crimes

LONDON (Reuters) - A former BBC radio presenter, who was hailed by Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi for entertaining her over the airwaves during her years in captivity, has been charged with numerous sex crimes over a 30-year period, London police said on Thursday.

Dave Lee Travis, 68, once one of the best known DJs in Britain, is accused of 11 counts of indecent assault and one sexual assault on women, including a 15-year-old girl, between 1977 and 2007.

He is the latest celebrity to be accused of sex offences since detectives launched a massive inquiry into the late BBC TV host Jimmy Savile.

Savile was one of Britain's biggest stars in the 1970s and 1980s but since his 2011 death, police have discovered he had committed sex crimes on an unprecedented scale.

The inquiry has led to the arrests of a number of household British TV and radio names from that time, although most, like Travis, were not said to be directly involved in Savile's offences, which spanned six decades from 1955.

After he was arrested in March this year, Travis, who most recently was working for Magic AM radio station, said he strongly denied all the accusations against him and said his reputation had been "tarnished and dragged through the mud".

Nicknamed the "Hairy Cornflake" for his bushy beard, Travis said last year he was astonished to learn that Suu Kyi had been a big fan of his weekly show on the BBC World Service during her 15 years under house arrest between 1989 and 2010.

She singled out his music request program "A Jolly Good Show" for making her world "much more complete".

Travis, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, will appear at London's Westminster Magistrates Court on August 23.

Alison Saunders, chief London prosecutor, said Travis would not face any action over seven other allegations as there was insufficient evidence.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Alison Williams)