Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich was charged with molesting a 6-year-old family member in 2012, The Oregonian reports.
Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich, who pleaded guilty as a teenager to molesting a 6-year-old girl, issued a statement through a family friend on Thursday saying he will not join the team in the upcoming College World Series — and that he still has intentions to pitch for the Beavers next season.
In the statement obtained by Baseball America, the team’s ace said he did not want to “create further distraction for my teammates, more turmoil for my family, and given the high profile of the national championship, direct even more unwanted attention to an innocent young girl,” Heimlich’s statement read.
Heimlich’s decision stems from a report last week in The Oregonian, which became aware of Heimlich failing to update him sex offender registration in April.
The discovery led the newspaper to conduct an investigation that eventually uncovered the 2012 conviction.
In a statement of his own, Oregon State president Ed Ray said Heimlich would be welcomed back to the team next season, if he wishes — but agreed he could be a “disruption and distraction” to his teammates.
Heimlich, who many had expected to be a top pick in this week’s MLB Draft, went unselected. Helping to lead the top-ranked Beavers to a 49-4 record, the left-hander posted an 11-1 record with a 0.76 ERA in his junior season.
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