UK comedian arrested by sex scandal detectives

Associated Press Modified: November 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm •  Published: November 1, 2012
Advertisement
;

The bank gave few details, citing confidentiality rules, but victims' lawyers welcomed the decision, which means Savile's estate will be kept intact while claims are pursued.

"It's what they needed to do," said lawyer Alan Collins, who represents 12 women who say they were abused by Savile in the 1960s and 1970s. "Obviously it's welcome news, otherwise you would have to go to court to get a freezing order. This makes it easier."

He said that under British law it will be possible for Savile's alleged victims to seek financial compensation based on pain and suffering even though he has died. Savile's estate is reportedly worth 4.3 million pounds ($6.9 million). He left much of it to a charitable trust.

Georgina Calvert-Lee, a lawyer with the firm AO Advocates that specializes in child abuse that occurred years ago, said women who claim to have been abused by Savile will be able to bring civil cases forward even though the suspected abuse happened decades ago.

Many crimes have a three year statute of limitations, but that doesn't apply to child sex abuse cases because of a 2008 ruling by Britain's top court, she said.

"They decided the strict framework was not appropriate for dealing with child abuse because the nature of the damage is insidious, it causes damage for years, and people often don't come forward until much later," she said.

Calvert-Lee said it is also possible that some alleged victims may choose to seek damages from the BBC, Savile's main employer, by arguing that his alleged abuse was connected to his work, and that he wouldn't have had access to his victims if he didn't work at the national broadcaster.

Financial claims against Savile's estate are likely to multiply. Collins said the number of alleged victims he represents is "12 and rising."