The specter of criticism spooked a number of executives from putting Heimlich on their draft boards in the first place.
It was widely believed that one of the best pitchers in the MLB Draft would not get picked, and that proved to be the case.
Luke Heimlich, a top college baseball prospect who pleaded guilty to molesting a 6-year-old girl when he was a teenager, was not selected in the Major League Baseball draft for the second straight year. Heimlich was 15 at the time of the conviction and he was found guilty of molesting a six-year-old female relative. However, the girl's mother said, "There is no way he didn't do it", pointing to the specificity of her daughter's descriptions of the incident.
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Heimlich's attempts to fix his image in speaking with The New York Times and Sports Illustrated, plus allowing the Portland Tribune access to medical records for a story that painted him as rehabilitated, did not persuade teams to look past his past - at least thus far.
"We didn't really think I stood a fair chance", Heimlich said. It is unclear just how much or how many people at Oregon State knew about the case prior to Heimlich joining the team in 2014, but the school is supposed to keep a list of all registered sex offenders who are attending, according to The Oregonian. He did not play for Oregon State previous year in the second round of the NCAA Tournament or the College World Series. He had one charge dropped but was required to register for five years as a Level 1 sex offender, meaning he is considered unlikely to become a repeat offender. He has a 15-1 record with a 2.42 earned run average, both team-bests.
Heimlich is set to lead OSU against Minnesota this weekend in the NCAA super regionals, with a trip to the College World Series at stake. His coach, Pat Casey, opined that his star pitcher would be a very high Major League Baseball draft pick, but Heimlich may have to try to sign with an independent team to keep his career going after OSU is done competing this month in the NCAA playoffs. He can still be signed as an undrafted free agent, and he also has the option of playing independent ball if he decides to go that route.