dr Strange actress Zara Phythian and husband jailed for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl


A Hollywood actor has been sentenced to eight years in prison for a series of sexual assaults on a teenage girl that began when the victim was 13.

Zara Phythian and her husband Victor Marke were found guilty last week on 14 counts of sexual activity with a child after co-nursing and abusing the girl between 2005 and 2008.

Marke, who was also found guilty of indecent assault on a second applicant, was sentenced to 14 years in prison at Nottingham Crown Court.

Phythian, who appeared in the 2016 blockbuster Doctor Strange and ran a martial arts academy, appeared calm in the dock on Monday when she was told the abuse was compounded by its ongoing nature.

At the sentencing hearing, Judge Mark Watson told the couple he believed the abuse began preplanned.

The judge told Marke: “I consider you to be the driving force behind the abuse. They were clearly aware of the first incident but pretended to be asleep.

“It can only have been a pre-arranged ruse.”

Turning to Phythian, the judge added, “Although under cross-examination you denied that you were obsessed with Victor Marke, based on the evidence I have heard I am undoubtedly satisfied that your deviation was shaped by the influence he had on you from the start dude.

“I can’t ignore the fact that it started at a time when you were young.”

But the judge added: “Nevertheless, nothing excuses what you did – those were decisions you made.

“You were successful yourself then. You have chosen to play your part.”

As she was led to the cells, Phythian waved to the bleachers, where a woman exclaimed, “I love you, Zara.”

The 37-year-old, from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and Marke, 59, have been told they must serve at least half their sentence before being considered for parole.

The judge said Marke, who was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault related to another underage girl he molested at least eight times between 2002 and 2003, displayed a “high level of depravity” during the offences .

Phythian denied being a pedophile during her two-week trial, while her husband, who is also a martial arts instructor, collapsed on the witness stand.

The jury was told the abuse of the couple’s mutual victim began when Phythian, then in her early 20s, asked her, “Do you want to play dare?” and invited her to copy a sex act she had performed on Marke.

The victim, whose name cannot be released, told the court Marke threatened her and ordered her to film some of the abuse by the Jekyll and Hyde couple.

In her testimony in court, Phythian said she got the chance to act in films after being “discovered” at a martial arts competition in the United States.

She told jurors she runs a manufacturing company, has her own sportswear brand, and developed a relationship with brands when she was 19.

Phythian’s film career peaked in 2016, the court heard when she auditioned for and got the role of the “brunette zealot” in Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role.

Marke, from Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire, denied sexually touching a victim and said the other complainant gave him oral sex when he was drunk and she was 18.

PA dr Strange actress Zara Phythian and husband jailed for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl

Bobby Allyn

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