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Draft hopeful Heimlich excuses self from OSU

Beavers ace steps away following report he was sex offender
MLB.com @JimCallisMLB

A day after a report by The Oregonian revealed that he's a registered sex offender, Oregon State ace Luke Heimlich asked to be excused from playing for the Beavers in their NCAA super-regional playoffs against Vanderbilt.

The report stated Heimlich pled guilty in 2012 to molesting a 6-year-old female family member when he was 15 years old. While the crime occurred in Heimlich's hometown of Puyallup, Wash., it was discovered by local authorities in Corvallis, Ore., when a local sheriff was doing an investigation into sex offenders who had let their registrations lapse and found that Heimlich had missed an annual update in April.

A day after a report by The Oregonian revealed that he's a registered sex offender, Oregon State ace Luke Heimlich asked to be excused from playing for the Beavers in their NCAA super-regional playoffs against Vanderbilt.

The report stated Heimlich pled guilty in 2012 to molesting a 6-year-old female family member when he was 15 years old. While the crime occurred in Heimlich's hometown of Puyallup, Wash., it was discovered by local authorities in Corvallis, Ore., when a local sheriff was doing an investigation into sex offenders who had let their registrations lapse and found that Heimlich had missed an annual update in April.

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In a statement released by his attorney, Heimlich said:

"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."

University president Ed Ray issued a written statement Thursday, but he didn't address when the school learned of Heimlich's crime.

"I find this account disturbing and want to let you know that OSU does not condone the conduct as reported," said the statement. "But we also understand that this case involves a criminal matter that was previously addressed by the judicial system in the state of Washington.

"We take this issue very seriously, and I want to be clear that each day the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff is Oregon State University's number one priority. Our policies and procedures seek to provide a safe learning environment for our entire community and to ensure that all prospective and current students are treated fairly and equitably."

The full text of Ray's statement can be found here.

Ranked No. 108 on MLBPipeline's Top 200 Draft Prospects before news of his crime surfaced, Heimlich projected as a likely second- or third-round pick. The left-hander leads NCAA Division I with a 0.76 ERA for a 52-4 Beavers team ranked No. 1 in all the major polls and seeded No. 1 in the NCAA playoffs.

In the wake of these revelations, several teams have told MLBPipeline.com that they have removed Heimlich from their boards and don't believe any club will select him in the 40-round Draft, which begins Monday.

"You absolutely can't draft him," a senior scouting official with a National League club said. "You can't draft him."

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.