Report: Royals Considering Signing Controversial Oregon State Pitcher Luke Heimlich
The Royals are reportedly interested in signing Oregon State pitcher and convicted child molester Luke Heimlich, according to The Kansas City Star.
"We continue to seek information that allows us to be comfortable in pursuing Luke," said Royals GM Dayton Moore.
Royals scouts have been in contact with Heimlich, his family and Oregon State, reports the Star.
During his four years with the Beavers, Heimlich went 35-11 with a 2.32 ERA while allowing batters to hit just .207 against him. In 2017, Heimlich was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year after going 11-1 with a 0.76 ERA and two complete games while holding the opposition to a .172 batting average.
Heimlich wasn't selected in the 2017 and 2018 MLB draft. He did not play in last year's College World Series, which Oregon State reached, but is playing in the tournament this year.
In 2012, Heimlich pleaded guilty to child molestation in Washington. He was 15 at the time of the conviction and was found guilty of molesting a six-year-old female relative.
According to The Oregonian, court documents say the first time Heimlich molested the family member she was only four, and the last time came when she was six. In his guilty plea, Heimlich wrote, "I admit that I had sexual contact" with the girl, according to The Oregonian.
He was sentenced to 40 weeks at Washington's Juvenile Rehabilitation authority, but court records say he didn't serve any time because the sentence was suspended after he completed two years of probation, according to The Oregonian. Additionally, Heimlich entered a diversion program, attended sex offender treatment for two years and registered as a Level 1 sex offender- meaning he was the lowest risk to the community and his likelihood to re-offend was considered minimal, according to The Oregonian.
Heimlich's case came to light after he failed to update with the registry. 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.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Heimlich denied touching the girl.
"I pled guily to it," Heimlich said of the child molestation charge. "But ever since that day and even before that, in court records and everything, I've denied ever committing the offense. I stand by that."