WASHINGTON - The door has been opened to the possibility that the names of hundreds of sex offenders could be removed from the Maryland registry.
A former junior high school teacher was convicted in 2006 of child sex abuse, but he's succeeded in getting his name removed from the state registry of sex offenders.
His legal victory could pave the way for others.
Robert Merle Haines Jr., 53, pleaded guilty in 2006 to child sex abuse that he committed in 1984. He has successfully argued that his name should not be on the sex offender list because it was created in 1995, after he committed his crime. In March, the state Supreme Court agreed, but the corrections department kept his name on the list.
It wasn't until late May, after Haines asked a Circuit Court judge to find the corrections department in contempt of court, that the state removed his name from the registry.
The Baltimore Sun reports there are about 1,800 sex offenders on the state's list whose crimes occurred before there was a state registry. While their names will remain on the list, a state official says similar situations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
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