Hypnotist sentenced for sex with teen

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AUBURN, Maine — A Maine hypnotist accused of using his craft to keep a teenage girl quiet about their sexual encounters is going to prison for six years.

The Sun Journal of Lewiston says 38-year-old Aaron Patton of Jay was sentenced Monday by Superior Court Justice Donald Marden.

Patton began treating the girl, now 17, with hypnotism when she was 12 to break her of a nail-biting habit. Prosecutors said Patton would hypnotize her after their sexual encounters to make her feel more comfortable about their trysts, which began when she was 14.

Patton as sentenced to six years in prison for each of four counts of gross sexual assault, four years for unlawful sexual contact and counts of sexual abuse of a minor. All but the initial six years were suspended.