Orange County Register
February 7, 1990
Kung Fu teacher charged with molestation; more charges expected
Byline: Gregg Zoroya
A martial-arts instructor who allegedly admitted that he fondled a teen-age boy -- not for sex, but as a means of Kung Fu acupressure -- was charged with felony child molestation Tuesday.
John Duff Bracy's arraignment on felony and misdemeanor charges was postponed Tuesday until next week, when a prosecutor said she intends to file additional charges involving at least one other boy.
Bracy, 34, of Orange, owner and operator of the Hsing Chen martial-arts school in Tustin, was arrested Friday. He is being held in the Orange County Jail with bail set at $50,000.
After waiving his right to remain silent Friday, Bracy told police he frequently became sexually aroused while performing acupressure with students, say reports filed in court Tuesday.
But Bracy said the acupressure, which was described as mutual touching, had nothing to do with sex, but rather "is a form of Kung Fu that the students must learn ... in order to be promoted to their next rank," an investigator's report says.
"That strikes me as absolute rubbish," said Deputy District Attorney Ariadne Symons, who is prosecuting Bracy.
Bracy is charged with eight felony counts and two misdemeanor child-molestation counts involving the 15-year-old Irvine boy. The acts, all described as fondling, occurred from September 1987 through June 1989, the complaint says.
Symons said police are interviewing nine other students of the school.
Investigative reports say the boy began attending martial-arts classes at Bracy's school four years ago with his parents.
The parents eventually dropped out, but the child continued to attend, working his way up through the ranks from white to red sash.
The teen-ager told investigators that when the acupressure sessions began, Bracy said they were useful in "transferring energy from one body to another and perfectly acceptable by the Chinese."
During the Labor Day weekend, the boy accompanied Bracy and other students on a camping trip where beer and alcohol were shared and where Bracy sexually fondled the boy, reports say.
Authorities were first contacted last month by a therapist treating the boy.
When interviewed by Tustin police Investigator Nancy Rizzo on Friday, Bracy reportedly described two acupressure sessions involving the boy.
Bracy is the second Orange County martial-art instructor in the past year to be accused of child molestation.
In August, James Allen Hydrick, 26, of Huntington Beach, a black-belt who called himself Sir James, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for molestating six boys after plying them with cigarettes and candy.
The training is bitter but the results are sweet. You pour out your muddiness in sweat and gain purity of spirit and qi.
He had fire in his belly but harmony in his eyes.