Chile court clears ex-bishop of sex crime charges

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A Chilean appeals court has ratified the dismissal of sex crime charges against a former Roman Catholic bishop.

The court ruled Friday there wasn't enough evidence against the Rev. Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez, who resigned as bishop of Iquique in 2012 while under Vatican investigation.

He was accused of abusing an altar boy and acknowledged "an imprudent act," but said the youth was 17 when they met and that their relationship began when the man was no longer underage.

His accuser said the abuse began when he was 15. He said at first it was forced, but they later became lovers.

The ruling comes a week after Pope Francis' visit to Chile was marked by protests over the church's handling of sex abuse cases involving other clerics.