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Charges Dropped Against Globe Editor

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — A supermarket tabloid editor accused of trying to buy a copy of the JonBenet Ramsey ransom note agreed to donate $100,000 to a journalism ethics program to avoid bribery and extortion charges.

At the request of the prosecutor, a judge Wednesday dismissed charges against Craig Lewis, a Globe editor, in exchange for the donation to the University of Colorado School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

``We're very happy,'' said Lewis' lawyer, Jeffrey Pagliuca. ``We think it's a very good and fair resolution.''

``It is very unusual,'' Jefferson County District Attorney Dave Thomas said.

Lewis, 44, was accused of offering a handwriting analyst $30,000 for a copy of the note JonBenet's mother said she discovered before the 6-year-old's body was found.

He also was charged with trying to extort information from a detective by sending him pictures of his deceased mother and threatening to expose a family tragedy.

``It's a sweet irony that the Globe, one of the most unethical publications on the face of the earth, would be supporting a media ethics class,'' CU journalism professor Len Ackland said.

Globe International Inc. agreed to publicly admit its conduct was wrong. But in its statement, it added: ``The newsgathering practices described in the indictment were the result of attempts to obtain newsworthy information concerning the Ramsey homicide. Whether this conduct violated the laws of the state of Colorado has not yet been determined.''

JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family's Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996. No one has been arrested.

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