An actress who appeared in a superhero movie opposite Benedict Cumberbatch screamed “I am innocent” when she was jailed for grooming and sexually abusing a schoolgirl on Monday.
Martial artist and stuntman Zara Marke was cast in the 2016 Marvel film Doctor Strange, which grossed nearly A$988 million at the box office, and has appeared in a number of other UK and US films.
But the 37-year-old woman was jailed for eight years yesterday after she was found guilty of sexual activity with a teenage boy over a period of three years, beginning when the victim was just 13 years old.
Prosecutors said Marke and her husband Victor Marke, 59, regularly engaged in “threesomes” with the young woman when she stayed at their home, and that Victor sometimes filmed the “depraved” acts to recreate scenes from porn movies that he had seen with his wife.
Taekwondo master Victor Marke was found guilty of sexually abusing a second victim and given a 14-year sentence after a judge called him the “driving force” behind the abuse.
Judge Mark Watson said he believed the actress, who joined Victor Marke’s martial arts academy when she was 14 and began an affair with the married man when she was 19, had been “in love” with the 22-year-older master. than her .
He told her, “I have no doubt that your deviation was shaped by the influence he had on you from a young age…but you had a choice. You chose to play your part in your victim’s corruption, when you should have protected her.
The defendants, from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, wept and shook their heads during an hour-long hearing that ended with both being ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.
They will serve half of their sentences behind bars before being eligible for parole. As she was led out of court, Marke, wearing a gray prison tracksuit, yelled at his relatives in the public gallery: “I am innocent. I love you all.”
Earlier, the judge had told the couple that they had exposed their “vulnerable” 13-year-old victim to “sexual behavior far beyond his age and maturity.”
He added: “This was done without consideration or care as to how this would affect their development.”
Nottingham Crown Court heard that the abuse began in 2005 after the Markes stuffed the girl with rum, before Marke, appearing on screen under her maiden name Zara Phythian, “dared” her to perform a sexual act with her husband.
He progressed to full sexual intercourse, with activity “once or twice a month” until 2008.
Victor Marke was sentenced yesterday for four counts of indecent assault against a second victim between