CONCORD, N.H., OCT. 9 -- A former drama teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy was convicted today on federal charges of possessing and shipping child pornography across state lines.

Larry Lane Bateman, 51, stood impassively as the verdicts were handed down in a case that stripped Bateman of his post at the exclusive boarding school and brought unwelcome notoriety to the school.

U.S. District Judge Jose A. Fuste set a Dec. 7 sentencing date and allowed Bateman to remain free on bail. Bateman could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined $250,000, but his attorney, Mark F. Sullivan, said his client would draw much less than the maximum.

Just two years ago, Bateman, the popular chairman of the drama department, was rewarded as one of the academy's top faculty members. He was fired in July and evicted from his campus apartment on the grounds that he was no longer a model for students.

Bateman was charged with owning and shipping dozens of videotapes, books, magazines and other depictions of boys and young men. Police said they found the pornographic items in a locked cabinet in Bateman's apartment and in a hidden storage compartment under his bed.

The jury, which was sequestered because of the extensive local publicity about the case, returned its verdict after deliberating four hours.

Acting on an informant's tip, police on July 16 raided Bateman's campus apartment, where he lived alone. Officers seized hundreds of videotapes, printed materials and a large collection of video equipment.

Bateman initially was charged in state court on misdemeanor counts of possessing child pornography. In August, those charges were dropped and Bateman was arrested on federal felony charges.

At his week-long trial here, Bateman's chief accuser was a former student, Michael Caven, who was granted federal immunity from child pornography charges similar to those Bateman faced. Caven had been a student of Bateman's in the late 1970s at a high school in Glen Cove, N.Y., before Bateman was hired at Exeter.

Caven testified that Bateman shipped child pornography to him between April and December 1990. Caven, 29, who now lives in Ohio, said the materials included videotapes, "picture books" and sexually explicit photos of Caven himself.

On the stand, Bateman acknowledged a long-standing interest in child pornography, but he denied shipping any pornographic materials. Bateman testified that he handed the materials to Caven in January 1989, while Caven was visiting Bateman on the Exeter campus.

"I had given them all to him in one lump. I'm not totally stupid," Bateman said under questioning by the defense.

Caven, who said he is recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, told prosecutors that Bateman drugged and then sodomized him at Bateman's home in 1979.

Bateman denied Caven's story, however, and said Caven, who was then 17, came to his home one night and asked Bateman if he could come to bed with him.

Bateman also was accused of impropriety by a witness identified in court only as "J.Y." The young man testified that between 1983 and 1984, while J.Y. was a student at Exeter, he made two videos with Bateman in Bateman's bedroom in Sproule Hall on campus.

Outside court, Bateman said that he did not exploit students. "I have never had sexual contact with a minor," Bateman said in a sidewalk news conference.