Doctor Strange actress slept with minors
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Zara Phythian, who starred in Marvel’s 2016 movie Doctor Strange, and her husband Victor Marke were found guilty of 14 counts of s**ual activity with a child between 2005 and 2008.
The jury also convicted the couple of indecent assault charges relating to another underage girl that Marke abused on at least eight occasions between 2002 and 2003.
Phythian, who runs a martial arts academy, denied being a paedophile during the trial that began on April 26.
Her husband, who is also a martial arts instructor, broke down in the witness box.
Judge Mark Watson remanded both defendants in custody until a hearing to decide on bail or sentence at 2pm.
The prosecutors alleged that the couple carried out multiple s**ual acts with a young girl in Nottinghamshire, encouraging her to perform oral s** on Marke before he had s** with both of them.
The girl testified in court, saying she knew it was wrong but didn’t know how to get out of the situation or say anything.
Jurors unanimously convicted the couple after deliberating over two days.
They also convicted Marke of four counts of indecent assault relating to a girl he abused when she was 15.
During police interviews after the couple’s arrest in 2017, Phythian told officers the allegations against her were “bullshit.”
In her evidence to the court, Phythian described how she was given a chance to star in films after being “spotted” at a martial arts contest in the US.
She runs a production company, has her own sports clothing brand, and had formed a relationship with Marke when she was 19.
Phythian’s film career peaked in 2016 when she auditioned for and got the part of “brunette zealot” in Doctor Strange, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role.
Marke denied that he was attracted to girls aged in their early teens, repeatedly breaking down in the witness box as he denied touching one victim s**ually.
He told the jury, “There were no excuses.
I have apologized to my wife.” He also rejected prosecution claims that he and Phythian had “encouraged threesomes” when their victim was 13, 14, and 15.
Following the verdicts on Wednesday, Judge Mark Watson remanded both defendants in custody until next Monday, telling them that their sentence would likely be measured by a considerable period of custody.
This case is an example of how child s** abuse can happen in any community, regardless of the individuals’ status.
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