Hypnotist guilty of sex assault on teen girl

Posted Jan. 25, 2011, at 6:12 p.m.

AUBURN, Maine — A Maine hypnotist accused of using his craft to keep a 14-year-old girl quiet about their sexual relationship has been convicted of sexual assault.

Jurors returned guilty verdicts against Aaron Patton of Jay on Tuesday on four counts of gross sexual assault, as well as unlawful sexual contact and sexual abuse of a minor.

Patton began treating the girl, now 17, with hypnotism when she was 12 to break her of a nail-biting habit.

The Sun Journal newspaper says the girl testified that when she was 14 they began having sex and afterward Patton would hypnotize her to keep quiet about their encounters. Patton’s lawyer said the girl was 16 when the two had a consensual sexual relationship. In Maine the age of consent for sexual activity is 16.

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