The 69-year-old owner of a Fairfax City driving school was found guilty yesterday of sexual battery on a 16-year-old driving student on two occasions last month, once during a driving lesson and a second time in his home.

Charles D. Thrailkill, who operated the former Burke Centre Driving School out of his home on Mosby Woods Drive for at least 10 years, could face up to two years in jail, a $5,000 fine or both, for the two sexual battery misdemeanors. No date has been set for sentencing.

Under Virginia law, sexual battery involves touching intimate parts of the body.

The girl testified at Thrailkill's trial in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court yesterday that he improperly touched her while she was driving during a lesson on Oct. 1 and fondled her a few days later in his home, where she had gone to sign a document related to driving instruction.

When asked by the prosecuting attorney whether he had ever touched her during a driving lesson, Thrailkill responded, "On her legs, yes, I admit that." He said he often touches first-time drivers because he keeps his hand near the bottom of the steering wheel so he can take control if the student experiences difficulty.

Thrailkill denied fondling the girl in his home.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kathryn Swart, who prosecuted the case, argued that Thrailkill was guilty partly because he had admitted touching the girl. "He has another explanation for it . . . {but} he verifies that he touched her leg," Swart said.