Former Phillips Exeter Teacher Convicted in Child Pornography Case
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ A teacher at an exclusive prep school was convicted Friday of possessing and shipping child pornography.
A U.S. District Court jury deliberated about 4 1/2 hours before finding Lane Bateman, 51, guilty of keeping child pornography in his apartment at Phillips Exeter Academy and of mailing it across state lines.
Bateman was surprised by the verdicts.
″I expected to get zapped, but not zapped on all (counts),″ he said afterward.
The two transportation counts each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; the possession count carries a maximum five-year penalty and $250,000 fine. Bateman remained free on $10,000 bail.
Both sides acknowledged that Bateman’s sentence, tentatively set to be imposed on Dec. 7, is likely to be much lighter than the maximum.
Asked about the judge’s suggestion he undergo psychiatric counseling, Bateman said, ″If that’s what he thinks I should do, I’ll do it. I don’t have much choice. I may as well take advantage of it.″
During his testimony, Bateman acknowledged owning about 300 pornographic tapes, some of them child pornography, and mailing adult pornography to his chief accuser, Philip Michael Caven. But he denied knowingly sending child pornography.
Caven, 29, of Columbus, Ohio, said the verdict is a message to others who have been sexually assaulted that ″you can take your power back.″
The verdicts came after a week-long trial during which jurors were shown boxes of pornographic videotapes and books seized from Bateman’s campus apartment.
During closing arguments Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Arnold Huftalen called Bateman, the school’s former drama director, a liar.
″This is Lane’s biggest play,″ Huftalen told the jury. ″Yesterday (his testimony) was the final act, today is the epilogue. He’s been an actor his whole life.″
Defense lawyer Mark Sullivan attacked Caven’s credibility in his closing arguments. He pointed out the testimony of witnesses who knew Caven in high school and in business and described him as manipulative, shrewd and a liar.
He noted that Caven received immunity for ″the exact same crimes alleged against Mr. Bateman.″
Bateman taught at the academy for 12 years until July, when police searched his home and seized hundreds of tapes, picture books and video equipment. He was arrested July 16, and fired the next day.
Previously, he taught at North Shore High School on New York’s Long Island, where Caven was his student.
Caven claimed Bateman made a 15-20-minute video of him that ended with Caven nude in the bathtub, and gave him marijuana and wine. He claimed Bateman also took 22 instant photographs of him posing nude, some masturbating. He was 16 at the time.
Bateman denied ever making the video and said he took the photos a year later when Caven visited him at Phillips Exeter.