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Prosecutors decline to charge Minn. archbishop

Archbishop John Nienstedt
Archbishop John Nienstedt

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Archbishop John Nienstedt will not face criminal charges in an incident in which he was accused of inappropriately touching a boy during a public photo shoot.

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office says Tuesday there is insufficient evidence to prosecute Nienstedt.

Nienstedt announced Dec. 17 that he had been accused of touching a boy on the buttocks during a photo following a confirmation ceremony in 2009. He denied the allegation, but stepped down from public ministry while police investigated.

In a statement Tuesday, Nienstedt thanked authorities and said he will now return to public ministry. He says he continues to pray for those harmed by clergy sexual abuse.

A prosecutor's memo provides details on why charges were declined. Among them, no one else present had witnessed any touching.

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