Content Warning: Article contains descriptions of sexual abuse of a minor, which some readers may find disturbing.
A judge sentenced martial arts stuntwoman Zara Phythian, best known for appearing in the 2018 Marvel movie doctor strangeto eight years in prison after a conviction for sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl.
Phythian, 37, was sentenced along with her husband Victor Marke, 59, whom a judge called the “driving force behind the abuse,” according to People.
“While you denied on cross-examination that you were in love with Victor Marke, based on the evidence I have heard, I have no doubt that your deviance was shaped by the influence he had on you from an early age,” Judge Mark Watson said. . of the Nottingham Crown Court of the United Kingdom.
Phythian was convicted of 14 counts of sexual activity with a child between 2005 and 2008, when the child was 13 years old or older. Marke was charged with four additional counts of indecent assault.
“I knew it was wrong, but I just didn’t know how to get out of the situation or say anything,” the victim said, according to court records.
On the stand, the citizen said that Phythian and Marke gave the minor alcohol and then “dared” her to perform sexual acts on Marke, who was married to another woman at the time.
“I remember trying to copy Zara’s reaction at the time because I looked up to her and tried to be like her,” the victim said.
Senior Investigating Officer Parminder Dhillon said he was grateful to the victim for telling her story.
“I want to thank the two victims who have shown great courage in coming forward and speaking out about their ordeal. While no amount of punishment handed down by a court of law can undo the lifelong damage done to them, I hope you take some comfort in knowing that justice has now been served. I hope that this case will serve as a reminder to others: that we treat all allegations of sexual abuse with the utmost seriousness and that, even in cases where the crimes occurred many years ago, we will thoroughly investigate and do everything in our power to our reach to bring perpetrators to justice.”
If you know of someone experiencing sexual violence, please contact RAINN or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.