LEWISTON, Maine – U.S. prosecutors are not pursuing charges against a man who rolled a pig's head into a mosque.
Brent Matthews faces a state misdemeanor charge of desecration of a place of worship. State prosecutors also won a court order requiring him to stay away from the mosque.
Matthews, 33, has insisted the July 3 incident was intended as a joke. The pig's head rolled into the mosque as about 40 people were praying. Many Muslims consider pork and pork products unclean and offensive.
"We're not going forward with our prosecution," Assistant U.S. Attorney General Halsey Frank said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations had contended the act was an insult upon Islam.
Lewiston is home to more than 2,000 Somali refugees, who began moving there in 2001 for affordable housing.
Matthews could face up to a year in jail if he violates the court order requiring him to stay away from the mosque.