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January 20, 2010

(10:18 a.m.) Runaway Convert

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A runaway teenage girl from Ohio who converted from Islam to Christianity has reached a court settlement that allows her to remain free of her Muslim parents.

The agreement Tuesday says that 17-year-old Rifqa Bary will stay in a foster home under state custody in Columbus until she turns 18 in August. After that, she'll be an adult and free to live where she chooses.

Bary's attorney read a statement in Franklin County Juvenile Court, saying that the girl and her parents love and respect each other and will try to resolve their differences through counseling.

Bary ran away to Florida last summer, saying she feared her father would harm or kill her for leaving Islam.

Her father denied the claim, and a law enforcement investigation found no credible threats to the girl.

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