Doctor Strange Actor And Her Husband Found Guilty Of Sexually Abusing Teenager
Doctor Strange actor Zara Phythian and her husband have been found guilty of a string of child sex charges after jointly grooming and abusing a teenage girl.
Phythian, 37, who also runs a martial arts academy, was found guilty of 14 counts of sexual activity with a child committed between 2005 and 2008, when the victim was aged in her early teens.
Her husband, 59-year-old Victor Marke, was also convicted at Nottingham Crown Court of the same 14 offences and indecent assault charges relating to another under-age girl he abused on at least eight occasions between 2002 and 2003.
Phythian’s counsel had asked the judge to allow her bail until sentencing to allow her to 'sort out' unspecified matters.
However, she was later denied bail as her sentence for child sex offences was adjourned until Monday next week.
Remanding both Phythian and Marke in custody, Judge Mark Watson told them: “Both of you know that the sentence I pass is likely to be measured by a considerable period of custody.”
Last month, the couple were accused of grooming and repeatedly sexually abusing the then-13-year-old girl.
The woman accusing the couple said she had looked up to Phythian - who, at the time, was with Marke but not yet married to him - and that she was sexually abused by the couple between the ages of 13 and 15 years old.
A police interview where she described details of the offences was played to Nottingham Crown Court, with the woman claiming Phythian gave her alcohol and encouraged her to perform oral sex on Marke, who then had sex with both of them.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also alleged she was 'coached' by Phythian to get better at sex, having estimated she had sex with Marke around 20 times.
She said: "I knew it was wrong but I just didn't know how to get out of the situation or say anything.
"I remember trying to copy Zara's reaction at the time because I looked up to her and tried to be like her in every way."
As reported by the BBC, further allegations were made that Marke threatened her with physical violence, saying he would 'smash her kneecaps' if she tried to tell anyone what they were doing to her.
The woman said: "He just said nobody would believe me if I told them anyway.
"They always had a power over me."
She also said she had planned to 'die with my shame' until she became a mother and decided she had 'no option to speak my truth' in the hope that others would not be targeted in the way she had been.
Marke has also been further accused of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old girl between 2002 and 2003.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact The Survivor’s Trust for free on 08088 010 818, or through their website thesurvivorstrust.org
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