AceShowbiz - "Doctor Strange" star Zara Phythian and her husband are facing jail after being found guilty of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl. Jurors at Nottingham Crown Court found Phythian guilty of 14 counts of sexual activity with a child committed between 2005 and 2008 when the victim was in her early teens.
Marke was also convicted on the same 14 offences as well as indecent assault charges relating to another underage girl he abused at least eight times between 2002 and 2008. The couple had jointly denied the charges of 14 counts of sexual activity with a child, but the jury found them guilty following a 12-day trial.
Marke had branded the allegations as "paedophile s***" when questioned by police officers following the couple's arrest in 2017. He told the officers, "If you're trying to say I'm a paedophile, I'm not."
Phythian told detectives that she had never had any form of sexual contact with the girl and described the allegations as "b*******". The teenager told the court how she would regularly stay with the couple at their home and recalled how Phythian, a martial arts expert who appeared in the 2016 Marvel blockbuster with Benedict Cumberbatch, gave her rum and asked her if she wanted to play "dares" before Marke had sex with the pair.
The abuse continued until she turned 18 and included Marke asking her to record him and Phythian together in an "attempt to recreate pornographic scenes". The couple hugged each other in court when the verdict was revealed and Marke could be heard crying.
The pair had been on bail throughout the trial but Judge Mark Watson remanded them into custody following the guilty verdict and said they would be sentenced on 16 May. He told them, "Both of you know the sentence I pass on 16 May is likely to be measured by a considerable period of custody."