Judge Yelena Stashina said documents submitted by police did not support their allegations that Pyotr Pavlensky committed an act of petty hooliganism when he shed his clothes Sunday and nailed his scrotum to the cobblestones in front of St. Basil's Cathedral, RIA Novosti reported Monday.
Petty hooliganism is defined as an act expressing clear disrespect for society and humiliates or harasses citizens or damages property.
An assistant for Pavlensky said the artist, who was briefly hospitalized after the stunt, will either be released with a $33 fine from police or they will keep him detained and prepare new documents seeking criminal charges.
Pavlensky said his stunt was aimed at protesting apathy and political indifference among the Russian public.
The artist previously made headlines in 2012 when he sewed his mouth shut to support jailed musicians from Russian punk group Pussy Riot and when he wrapped his naked body in barbed wire the same year outside a St. Petersburg government building to protest what he referred to as Russia's repressive regime.