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Christian Convert's Helpers Won't Be Charged, Prosecutors Say

Christian Runaway

A judge has granted Rifqa Bary's request to block a reunion with her Muslim parents as she approaches her 18th birthday. Bary, seen in this 2009 file photo, converted to Christianity and fled from her Ohio home, saying her family had threatened her. (AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Prosecutors have decided against charging six people who police say broke the law in 2009 by helping a teenage Christian convert run away to Florida from her Muslim parents in Ohio.

Police in Ohio and Florida say the individuals who helped 16-year-old Rifqa Bary leave Columbus on a bus and then sheltered her for two weeks in Orlando, Florida, without notifying authorities went too far.

The proposed charge of interference with custody was contained in police reports obtained by The Associated Press through records requests.

Police stand by their decisions to recommend charges while lawyers for those who helped the girl say prosecutors made the right choice.

Lawyers say the six, who include a Columbus family friend and an Orlando pastor and his wife, believed they were acting in Bary's best interests.

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