This morning I received the following document. It’s the LH case through the eyes of an attorney. Good Morning AB, Attached is an article I’ve written regarding the disclosure last spring of Mr. Heimlich’s involvement with the Washington State Juvenile Justice act when he was 15 years old and his subsequent sex clubs in oregon disqualification from the CWS.
I have no particular affiliation with OSU I only got interested in OSU baseball after a friend and client of mine took me to a game in Corvallis before this story broke. I am in my 30th year as a practicing lawyer in Thurston Co. I represented 1000’s of youth in the early years of my practice accused of committing offenses ranging from Murder 2 to Minor in Possession of Tobacco. Any questions don’t hesitate to give me a call. In their newly found eagerness to expose collegiate sports malfeasance, reporters risk overreacting to, or misrepresenting the legal nuances that surround the conduct of juvenile offenders. This is exactly what occurred in the case of Luke Heimlich, a baseball pitcher for Oregon State University.
It is impossible to defend the lack of administrative oversight shown in such infamous episodes as the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State, the serial sexual assaults by members of Baylor University’s football team, or the gymnastics program at Michigan State. Luke Heimlich sex crime surfaces as Oregon State baseball nears College World Series. That fact alone led some commentators on the newspaper’s website to charge that the external circumstance of Oregon State’s on-field success, and not any underlying judicial findings, stoked journalistic interest. The story itself was replete with phrasing that completely miscast Heimlich’s actual standing before the law.
Why we published Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich’s felony conviction. In the tumult that followed, the university resisted calls to dismiss Heimlich from the team, but he withdrew from play so as not to become a distraction for his teammates at the College World Series. 1 seed Oregon State finished in third place. More importantly, Heimlich, who before the disclosures was heavily reported to be a first round choice in the Major League Baseball draft scheduled that same week, was not selected in any of the three dozen rounds. If the reporters from The Oregonian could have resisted their impulse to print a story when it would achieve maximum visibility, they might have had time to learn about the law in the state of Washington governing youthful offenders until age 18 as set forth in RCW 13. Under Washington law, and as applicable to Heimlich’s case, juveniles are NOT considered criminals nor are they convicted of crimes.
Rather, they are adjudicated of having committed offenses which would constitute a crime if committed by an adult. Even so, did Heimlich meet that standard? As a juvenile respondent did Heimlich pay his debt to society? According to Washington state law, yes. 162, Heimlich had long since successfully completed treatment and followed all the terms of his probation and court supervision. Kerry Eggers recent article in the Portland Tribune highlights the extreme complexities a 15 year old accused of an intra-familial sex offense must face. Juveniles accused of any criminal offenses in Washington are not afforded jury trials.