A martial artist from Ravenshead and his film-star wife have been found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage girl.
Zara and Victor Marke abused the girl on multiple occasions when she was still a child.
The pair, who are well-known in the international martial arts community, were arrested after allegations were made against Victor Marke by another victim in December 2016.
She explained how he had abused her multiple times during her teenage years.
A subsequent lengthy investigation by specialist child abuse detectives at Nottinghamshire Police led to the discovery of a second victim and the involvement on Mrs Marke – formerly known as Zara Phythian.
The pair denied all allegations against them but were later charged with a string of sexual offences.
After a three-week trial at Nottingham Crown Court a jury has now delivered its verdict.
Victor Marke, aged 59, of Mavis Avenue, Ravenshead, was found guilty of 14 counts of sexual activity with a child in relation to one victim, and four counts of indecent assault against the other.
Zara Marke, aged 35, of Taurus Close, Mansfield, was found guilty of 14 counts of sexual activity with a child.
Both have been remanded into custody and will be sentenced on Monday.
Victor Marke is an internationally renowned martial artist who has coached and mentored young people all over the country.
Detectives investigating the initial allegations against him recovered huge amounts of digital evidence from his personal devices – including large quantities of downloaded and homemade pornography.
He later admitted to having consensual sex with one of the women but denied any involvement by his wife.
Zara Marke is a renowned stuntwoman and actress who starred in the 2016 Marvel film Dr Strange.
Detective Constable Paula Wilson of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “I am delighted that this case has now concluded and relieved for the victims that justice has been served and the jury has come to the decision it has. This was a long and complex investigation made all the more challenging by the sheer volume of digital data we had to retrieve and examine, and the number of witnesses that were spoken to. 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.
Detective Inspector Parminder Dhillon, senior investigating officer, said: “I want to thank the two victims who have showed great courage in coming forward and talking about their ordeal. Although no punishment handed down by a court can undo the lifelong damage caused to the them, I do hope they take some degree of comfort from the knowledge that justice has now been done. I hope this case serves as a reminder to others – that we treat all allegations of sexual abuse with the utmost seriousness and that, even in cases where offences occurred many years ago, we will thoroughly investigate and we will do everything in our power to bring perpetrators to justice.”
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