Justin George with the Baltimore Sun reports that corrections officials
last month refused to remove the name of a man convicted of a sex offense
involving a student (when he was a junior-high teacher) from the
Maryland sex offender registry.
The man had pleaded guilty to the offense in 2006, though the offense itself
happened in 1984. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that the man’s
name should be removed from the sex offender registry because the registry
didn’t exist when the crime took place.
But the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services argues that
federal law would require the man’s name to remain on the registry,
which trumps state law, and has refused to comply with the court’s order.
George quotes the man’s defense lawyer (who alleges that the Department
is in contempt of the court’s order):
“He struggles to find employment. The only employment that he can
find is usually something very menial, and even then, once they discover
he’s on the registry, he loses that job as well.”
And George quotes the executive director of the organization Families Advocating
Intelligent Registries: “It’s bogus. It’s totally bogus.
There’s nothing in the federal law that requires Maryland to put
anyone on the registry.”
But, at the moment, that’s what the Department believes, and so despite
an order from Maryland’s highest court, the man’s name remains
on the registry, and he will continue to have problems finding (and keeping)
a decent job.