An actress who starred in Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” was convicted alongside her husband Tuesday of repeatedly having sex with a 13-year-old girl over a three-year period.
Zara Phythian — a martial artist who played a sorcerer alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the 2016 Marvel flick — was unanimously convicted of 14 sex offenses against a child aged 13-15, the Nottingham Post said.
Her husband, fellow martial artist Victor Marke, 59, was also found guilty of the same charges, as well as three others against another young girl.
The husband and wife were remanded in custody and warned that they will get a “considerable period in custody” when sentenced on Monday, the local paper said.
Their victim said she was just 13 when the couple plied her with rum and made her have oral sex with Marke after Phythian, then in her early 20s, first taught her how to do it, the paper said.
The girl — now an adult — told Nottingham Crown Court that she was abused around 20 times between 2005 and 2008. Some of the encounters were filmed, she said.
Marke having admitted sex with his accuser, but insisted she was 18 at the time — and that he was alone with her, rather than in a threesome with his wife, as the victim had tested.
Phythian, now 37, denied any sexual activity with the girl, and was visibly upset at the verdict, wiping away tears as she was led to custody, the Nottingham Post noted.
Her attorney, James Varley, acknowledged to the court that the actress, who also uses her husband’s surname, “knows she is going to face a custodial sentence.”
Prosecutor Nicole Hepburn said the case was all the more appalling because the pedophile pair “denied their actions, instead blaming the victims and accusing them of lying.”
But thanks to the brave victim’s evidence, “the Markes themselves have been exposed as the true liars,” Hepburn said.
Detective Constable Paula Wilson, of Nottinghamshire Police, also praised the bravery of those willing to testify.
“Like all perpetrators of sexual abuse, the Markes were eventually undone by the determination of the victims who showed bravery and strength in coming forward and seeing this case through to the end,” Wilson told the local paper.