The state had kept Robert Merle Haines Jr. But the state this month appealed the Circuit Court order to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, one rung below the high court. Her group opposes against what it calls "draconian" sexual offense laws and policies. The court said his registration would be a form of retroactive punishment, which the Maryland Constitution doesn't allow. Forster, who acknowledged that Haines is John Doe, said she has sought to protect her client from being further ostracized and treated as a pariah. He declined to comment through Forster. In October , Haines filed a motion disputing the registration order because his crime occurred well before , when the Maryland registry was created. Binetti said even if state registration requirements don't apply to people convicted of sex crimes, the department must adhere to the federal law. His attorney, Nancy S. Like Haines, an estimated 1, sex offenders listed in the public database were convicted of sex crimes committed before the registry was created, said Rick Binetti, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. It spells out "minimum standards" for sex offender registration and notification across the United States, according to the Department of Justice. After Haines filed a petition asking a Circuit Court judge to hold the state corrections department in contempt, officials removed Haines' name from the registry on May But the Court of Appeals ruled that Haines, 53, should not be on the sex offender registry because it did not exist at the time of his crime. The state, Binetti said, will let the appeals process "play itself out. While his name remained on the registry, his case was appealed to Maryland's highest court. Forster, Maryland's former chief public defender, said being on the registry has proven to be punishment in addition to the prison time he served.