A North Yorkshire vicar is accused of sadistically branding a woman and beating her with a bamboo cane during a decade of abuse.
Hilary Alflatt, 87, forced the woman to take a vow of obedience and treated her like his slave during the 1980s, a court heard.
Previously known as Malcolm, Alflatt is accused of five counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of false imprisonment.
The defendant, now of Northallerton, has been ruled unfit to plead, so jurors will not return verdicts, but must decide whether he committed the alleged offences.
Prosecutors said Alflatt abused the vulnerable woman, who cannot be identified, over a long period and treated her as his slave.
He is said to have punished her for looking him in the eye, made her prostrate herself before him, kiss his feet, and made her call him “master”.
In police interviews, Alflatt had agreed some of the alleged incidents happened, but said they were consensual.
Louise Reevell, prosecuting, told Hull Crown Court: “This case is not about an affair and consent, it’s about power, control, depravity and sadism on his part.”
The alleged victim claimed the defendant hit her on occasions with a cane, “walloped” her in the face, left her “black and blue”, almost drowned her in the bath, and locked her in the vicarage cellar.
She also claimed he branded her under her arm after heating a needle. He was working at a church in Sheffield at the time.
Kathryn Pitters, defending, said the priest claimed it was a consensual relationship.
She said: “They formed a romantic relationship and although some of the proceedings that took place may make you raise an eyebrow, the reality, as he puts it was, ‘you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors between two consenting adults’.”
Judge Sophie McKone told the jury: “It’s not my job to decide the facts of the case, it’s not my job to decide which version of events is true, that’s for you to decide.”
The jury was sent home for the weekend and will return on Monday.