Zara Phythian: Doctor Strange actress and husband guilty of child sex charges
An actress who appeared in the film Doctor Strange and her husband have been found guilty of grooming and abusing a teenage girl.
Zara Phythian was found guilty of 14 counts of sexual activity with a child aged 13-15 between 2005 and 2008.
Her husband, Victor Marke, 59, was guilty of the same offences as well as four counts of indecent assault on a 15-year-old girl between 2002 and 2003.
Phythian, 37, is a martial arts instructor from Mansfield who appeared alongside Benedict Cumberbatch as the character Brunette Zealot in 2016 Marvel film Doctor Strange.
The couple both denied the charges during the trial at Nottingham Crown Court but were unanimously found guilty.
Jurors heard that the joint abuse started when Phythian, then in her 20s, asked the girl if she wanted to "play dare" and copy a sex act she performed on Marke.
The victim said Marke had made threats and ordered her to film some of the abuse.
The girl was able to describe a Chinese calligraphy tattoo Phythian has near her private parts and described how Marke pretended to be asleep before joining in the abuse.
She was abused at least 20 times and the offences carried on until she was 16.
Phythian called the claims "b******" in police interviews in 2017 and suggested the victim may have seen her tattoo in a changing room.
She told the court she had got the chance to be in films after being spotted at a martial arts competition, and that she now ran a production company and had her own sports clothing brand.
Marke, of Ravenshead in Nottinghamshire, who's also a martial arts instructor, denied being attracted to teenage girls and repeatedly cried in the witness box.
He also denied that he and his wife had "encouraged threesomes" when their victim was 13, 14 and 15.
Judge Mark Watson remanded the pair in custody for sentencing next week and warned them their jail term would likely be "considerable".