Doctor Strange star Zara Phythian and husband Victor Marke guilty of sexually abusing 13yo girl

Doctor Strange star Zara Phythian and her husband are facing jail after being found guilty of sexually abusing an underage girl on multiple occasions.

Doctor Strange star Zara Phythian and her husband are facing jail after they were found guilty of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl.

During the abuse, which took place between 2005 and 2008, Phythian plied the teen with rum before making her perform a sex act on husband Victor Marke, reports The Sun.

The teenager was abused once or twice a month until she was finally able to free herself.

At the time, Phythian and her husband Marke were both working as martial arts experts. Marke had sex with the victim about 20 times on different occasions, jurors heard.

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Marke, 59, branded the allegations “paedophile sh * t” when quizzed by officers after his arrest, Nottingham Crown Court was told.

He said he was “really angry” to be accused, and told officers: “If you’re trying to say I’m a paedophile, I’m not.”

Marke said he’d had consensual sex with the teen when she was 18 – something his wife only discovered during her police interview, it was heard.

Phythian, 38, told detectives she’d never had any form of sexual contact with the girl, calling it “bulls ** t”.

However, the star admitted having an X-rated sex kit – including videos of her having sex with other men – when questioned.

Phythian, who was 19 when she first got together with Marke, said they’d filmed their sex life and were into swinging.

Upon discovering her husband had revealed he’d had sex with her accuser, she said she felt “confused”, adding that she’d “liked to have known about it”.

The accuser told the court she’d regularly stay with the couple at their home.

On one occasion, Phythian gave her rum before asking if she wanted to play “dares”.

Marke then had sex with Phythian and the girl. The abuse continued until she turned 18.

It included Marke asking her to record him and Phythian together in an “attempt to recreate pornographic scenes”.

Marke, of Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire, denied in court that he was attracted to girls aged in their early teens.

He repeatedly broke down in the witness box as he denied touching one victim sexually, and said the other complainant had given him oral sex when he was drunk and she had turned 18.

He told the jury: “There were no excuses. I have apologized to my wife. ”

‘It’s ridiculous’

Phythian, of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, would have been 20 or 21 around the time the abuse began, while Marke, of Ravenshead, near Mansfield, was 42 or 43.

Phythian branded it “ridiculous” as she gave evidence in her defense, telling jurors: “That sexual activity that she described did not happen and is fabricated.”

But the victim wept as she told jurors how she finally revealed her “darkest secret”.

Officers had visited her mum’s home to say another girl had claimed she was abused by Marke.

The victim said she “would never have come forward” and planned to “die with my shame”.

But she had recently become a mum, and felt she had “no option to speak my truth,” she said.

Unanimously guilty

The couple, who the court was told “commanded admiration and respect within the martial arts world”, jointly denied 14 counts of sexual activity with a child, claiming the allegations were false.

But they were unanimously found guilty of all charges by jurors following the two-week trial.

Marke was also convicted of four counts of indecent assault on another girl, between 2002 and 2003.

Phythian wept as the verdicts were delivered, while Marke raised his eyes and blew out his cheeks.

Judge Mark Watson will decide later today when the pair will be sentenced.

Previously, Phythian told the court how she was “spotted” while taking part in a martial arts tournament in the US, after which she took part in Guinness World Record attempts on Sky TV, and did “lots of stunt work”.

She then began “working her way up the ladder” – and in 2016 was successful in auditioning for the role of ‘Brunette Zealot’ in Doctor Strangewhich grossed $ 976 million at the box office.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Nicole Hepburn, of the CPS, said: “This was an appalling case of exploiting a position of trust and respect to gain sexual gratification.

“Victor Marke ruthlessly took advantage of the age and vulnerability of these girls, as well as his status as an admired coach. He made them feel special and listened to and then abused them. Zara Marke similarly exploited her position to perpetrate child abuse.

“Both defenders have denied their actions, instead blaming the victims and accusing them of lying. Thanks to their evidence, given clearly and credibly in court, the Markes themselves have been exposed as the true liars.

“It does take courage to stand up to your abusers and give evidence in this way and I would like to express my respect and gratitude to the survivors for everything they have done to ensure the Markes are held responsible for their criminal actions.

“This abuse may have occurred some years ago, but that makes it no less serious and nor is it a barrier to justice. I would encourage anyone who has been abused in the past to come forward with the knowledge that the CPS will take your case seriously. ”

This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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