Oregon State University pitcher Luke Heimlich released his first statement following a report that revealed his status as a sex offender.
An article published Thursday morning reported that Heimlich pleaded guilty to first-degree child molestation in 2012 when he was 15 years old in Puyallup, Washington.
Court documents revealed the victim was a 4-year-old girl and she told investigators the abuse continued until she was 6 years old.
The story broke as the top-ranked Beavers get set to host Vanderbilt at Goss Stadium in the College Baseball Super Regionals. Heimlich was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year for 2017 and he is projected to be a high pick in the Major League Baseball draft later this month.
On Friday, a statement from Heimlich released by his attorney said he doesn't want to be a distraction for his team, so he requested to be "excused from playing at this time."I have taken responsibility for my conduct when I was a teenager. As a 16 year old, I was placed on juvenile court probation and ordered to participate in an individual counseling program.
I’m grateful for the counseling I received, and since then, I realized that the only way forward was to work each day on becoming the best person, community member and student I can possibly be. I understand that many people now see me differently, but I hope that I can eventually be judged for the person I am today.
I’m so proud of our team’s accomplishment and don’t want to be a distraction. Therefore, I’ve respectfully requested to be excused from playing at this time. -Luke HeimlichHeimlich was sentenced in 2012 to participate in the Sex Offenders Disposition Alternative program, which he completed. He was also required to register as a sex offender.
Heimlich moved to Corvallis to attend OSU in 2014, and according to Oregon law, sex offenders have to re-register every year or if they move.
State police said Heimlich failed to do that this year.
He was cited and has since become compliant with the law.
Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.