Before Luke Heimlich was a star pitcher considered a top pick for the Major League Baseball draft, he molested a young girl in Puyallup.
Heimlich, now 21, finished his probation and treatment before signing to play with Oregon State University in 2014. His baseball statistics show him to be one of the best college pitchers in the country, and he’s rated No. 43 for next week’s MLB draft by Baseball America.
His sex-offender registration surfaced Thursday after The Oregonian reported Heimlich was cited in April for failing to register with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office within 10 days of his birthday.
Heimlich is considered a Level 1 offender, which is considered the least likely to re-offend.
He declined comment to The Oregonian, as did baseball coach Pat Casey. Oregon State’s athletic director, Scott Barnes, also wouldn’t talk about Heimlich’s case because of student privacy issues.
The mother of the girl Heimlich inappropriately touched said she knew Heimlich was an ace baseball player but is upset he seems unpunished while her daughter has to live with the aftermath of the abuse for the rest of her life.
“I’m appalled that the college he’s going to would even have him on their team,” she told The Oregonian.
Heimlich pleaded guilty to first-degree child molestation in 2012. He served two years of probation and underwent sex-offender treatment for two years, according to court records obtained by The Oregonian.
The crime took place at a Puyallup home when Heimlich was 15 and the victim was 6, the records show.
It’s unclear whether Heimlich’s now-public felony conviction will affect MLB teams’ interest for the draft.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653