AUBURN — Prosecutors say a 37-year-old hypnotist used his craft to keep a 14-year-old girl quiet about a sexual relationship they were having.

But the attorney for Aaron Patton of Jay told a jury Monday that the girl was 16 when the two had a consensual sexual relationship. In Maine the age of consent for sexual activity is 16.

Patton began treating the girl, now 17, with hypnotism when she was 8 years old to break her of a nail-biting habit.

The girl testified Monday that when she was 14 they began having sex and afterward Patton would hypnotize her to keep quiet about their encounters.

The Sun Journal of Lewiston says the girl testified she was in love with Patton and kept it secret for two years.