SAN LUIS OBISPO (CBS/AP) — A Northern California jury couldn’t decide whether to free a former television psychic and self-proclaimed karate expert who is being kept in a state mental hospital after serving 17 years in prison for a molestation conviction. Now, 54-year-old James Hydrick can be released if prosecutors don’t challenge his petition.

Prosecutors will announce their intent June 17.

Hydrick displayed his mind and martial-arts skills on 1980s television shows like “That’s Incredible” and “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.”

But he went to prison in 1989, convicted of molesting six Orange County boys.

He’s served his sentence but is being detained at Atascadero State Hospital under state sexual predator law. A trial to determine whether he can still be held ended in a hung jury.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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