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A federal judge in Detroit dismissed charges against Jake Baker,the former University of Michigan sophomore who was expelled and arrested for publishing a rape-murder fantasy about a fellow student on a computer bulletin board. The chance that Baker, 21, would serve five years in prison for "transmitting a threat across state lines" (electronically) had frightened other online provocateurs and promised to be a test-case for censorship in cyberspace. TIME's Wendy Cole, who has interviewed Baker, says he severely regretted naming the other student in his fiction. Judge Avern Cohn, in his dismissal order today, noted that the government lost enthusiasm for the case "once it recognized that the communication which so much alarmed the University of Michigan officials was only a rather savage and tasteless piece of fiction."