Local News in Brief : Huntington Beach : Karate Expert Accused of Molesting Children

A Huntington Beach karate expert, who at one time appeared on national television, was returned to Orange County this week to face 11 counts of child molestation and other charges, a month after his capture in Georgia, officials said.

James A. Hydrick, 29, also faces charges of failing to register as a sex offender in the 1970s and assault and battery, stemming from an incident last August, an Orange County Municipal Court spokeswoman said.

On Wednesday, Hydrick’s arraignment was rescheduled for Jan. 9, she said. He is being held in County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

According to Police Sgt. Bill Peterson, Hydrick allegedly molested three children, ranging in age from 10 to 15, from June to November last year.


On Dec. 1, Hydrick, who is also known as Zane Leopard, Sir James and James Schrock, was arrested in Augusta, Ga., on minor theft charges, Peterson said.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound martial arts expert appeared on “That’s Incredible” and “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” during the early 1980s, moving objects with what he called psychic powers. He later admitted the feats were done through sleight of hand.

The self-described ninth-degree Black Belt also gained notoriety for his martial arts demonstrations.