Jury considers verdicts in sex abuse trial of married mixed martial artists

A jury in the trial of two married mixed martial artists accused of sexually abusing two underage girls has gone out to consider the evidence, a court has heard.

Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 5:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 5:06 pm

Summing up today, Judge Mark Watson said one girl's mother told the court her daughter claimed she had been having sex with Victor and Zara Marke ‘when she was pre-pubescent.’

"(The mother) stated she had been raped,” he said. "(The mother) said that was her interpretation and (the victim) said she had been f***** by Victor."

The court heard Victor Marke admitted having sex with the girl – legally and consensually – when she was 18, on four occasions, and said ‘it made me feel young again’.

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Victor Marke and actress Zara Marke, arrive at Nottingham Crown Court, April 28 2022.

He described her as ‘a mate’, but said: “I wouldn't describe her as a secret turn-on.”

He denied text messages marked SL referred to ‘secret lover’, but agreed both girls stayed overnight at his home.

One alleged victim's mother estimated her daughter stayed overnight at the couple’s home on about 25 occasions in one year.

Nottingham Crown Court heard the allegations surfaced in 2016, shortly after his wife Zara Marke, a world champion martial artist, also known as Zara Phythian, appeared in the hit Marvel film Doctor Strange.

"(One victim) may be jealous and that's the reason why she is making these allegations,” Judge Watson read from the evidence.

Another witness described the same victim ‘giggling’ about some pictures and videos she had seen on Victor Marke's laptop, but (the witness) told her ‘she didn't want to know and she shouldn't be looking’.

The court previously heard police found videos of Zara and Victor Marke having sexual encounters with other men, but no videos of them with other girls were found.

When asked how his alleged victim knew about sex toys he and his wife used, Victor Marke said she could have found them.

Victor Marke, aged 59, of Mavis Avenue, Ravenshead, denies historic indecent assault on a teenage girl.

Zara Marke, 36, of Taurus Close, Mansfield, and Victor are jointly charged with 14 allegations of sexual activity with another child, which they deny.

Judge Watson guided the jury through the decisions they will have to reach to find guilty or not-guilty verdicts.

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