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One Strike and You’re Out: Is Redemption Possible for Luke Heimlich?

Luke Heimlich made this week after a missed registration deadline presented the Oregonian with an opportunity to revisit his past misdeed. Until his past was dredged up, Luke, a rising college baseball player, was slated to be a first day pick for the major league amateur draft. Predictably, there was immediate backlash with people crucifying Luke for his supposed duplicity and calling for more punishment. Then on Friday, Luke released a statement in which he excused himself from playing in the super regionals. The extremely harsh public reaction to Luke’s criminal history merely highlights our distorted view of crime and punishment today, but to what end?

As a teenager, Luke plead guilty for inappropriately touching a 6-year-old he knew. He was sentenced to 40 weeks in a juvenile detention facility, but the sentence was dropped after Luke completed both sex offender treatment and two years of probation. In a statement released Friday, Luke remarked he was “grateful” for the counseling he received.

We ought to accept Luke’s responsibility and calm down. This isn’t an “either.. or” situation. The criminal legal system has a responsibility to both parties. We can be deeply troubled by the harm caused to the 6-year-old, and we shouldn’t minimize the impact of the harm. We should also agree Luke met his legal and moral obligations for his past transgression.

As Oregon State President Ed Ray reiterated, “this case involves a criminal matter that was previously addressed by the judicial system in the state of Washington.” Luke admitted to and took responsibility for his actions. What we shouldn’t agree to is Luke’s endless public flogging. Full Article

Related

Oregonian’s John Canzano and Danny Moran Complete Luke Heimlich Hit Piece

A look at some issues involving Luke Heimlich

Join the discussion

  1. AJ

    Boy those journalists sure helped everyone didn’t they? The public, which was in not in any danger from this man, can now rest easy. Luke, who admitted his mistake, took his punishment and has moved on, is now professionally destroyed. The victim, who has probably dealt with it in whatever way was/is needed, now gets to live it all over again, this time in the public eye.

    Yup, there sure was a “need to know,” you pompous, jack*ss “journalists.” Not every fact, truth, or story needs to be tossed in the public eye. Aside from outing Luke, where was the public interest and good?

    –AJ

  2. Oregonian Editor on a roll....

    John Canzano does not know when he is way out of bounds here:

    Oregonian Editor section with plenty of thoughts (arrogantly):
    http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf/2017/06/canzano_troubling_case_of_oreg.html

  3. USA

    Very sad story. I was actually at the airport some weeks back and the OSU Team was right behind me. I have (won’t say how) a baseball background. This team is comprised of the best! You don’t make this team unless your surreal and very talented! The guy made a poor decision, paid his debt to society and is clearly moving forward! You don’t get a pitching position unless your very talented. I support him and think people need to move on! This is a success story!

    • New Person

      It’s not a success story now. Now, his name and past have been drug to the present and ruined a lot.

      If this person wasn’t a successful pitcher, these writers wouldn’t care. They’re hyping this up to be more than it should be. Luke paid his dues and did all the state asked for. It should have been completed and, as a juvenile, his records shouldn’t be accessed.

      So here, we have a vigilante style hit on a registrant for minding his own business. It didn’t destroy him physically, but it affected his mental status (couldn’t pitch a game he was slated to start) and will affect his draft status, if he’s drafted, to make money. It’s a huge character assassination b/c that’s now who Luke is now.

      Sad. This is what the SCOTUS is promoting. No sex offender can ever be rehabilitated.

  4. USA

    New Person,

    It’s not over. If we continue to think this way, we won’t get anywhere. Hopefully a brace team out there will draft him and he will continue to succeed. Let’s remain positive!

    I just read the State of Washington allows you to (he is from Washington) petition releaf after 60 months for juveniles. I imagine he is working on this. Stay positive!

    • New Person

      @ USA

      Even if he does get relief, the damage is already done. He’s being painted as a monster by those two writers. Have you read the editorial? Serving his time and doing all the counselling means nothing as these two writers are painting him as a monster beyond what was levied.

    • New Person

      It’s official. He goes from top round prospect to not being drafted.

      Link: http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/2017-mlb-draft-sons-of-brett-boone-luis-gonzalez-highlight-picks-with-family-ties/

      There’s actual proof that he was projected to go high. Those authors just ruined his life and he’ll never be able to re-surface in any baseball capacity. Probably needs to change his name once off the registry as well. It’s just a sad story all around.

      If he wants, he can probably sue the MLB for discrimination of employment. The registry wasn’t supposed to affect employment. It has. There’s proof he was supposed to go in the 2nd/3rd rounds of the draft. He didn’t get drafted at all after 40 rounds. That’s more than enough proof.

      I hope Janice sees that and can help him out. Registrants are basically blackballed from employment as free people. One of the seven factors of MM’s that state registration is regulatory and not punitive is that it doesn’t impede/affect employment. False.

  5. Not drafted

    Luke was passed over in the draft yesterday.

  6. USA

    Well

    You guys clearly don’t know baseball. He might be processing his request at the moment! You don’t get on teams like his unless your brilliant! I almost think you guys enjoy putting people down. Why don’t you focus on yourselves, provide positive comments and be productive rather than counter productive., He can file his court request and be drafted next year or the year after. He is 21! Start reading up on baseball and remain positive. Nobody likes negative comments!

    • Drafting next year is a hope

      It would be nice if he could be drafted next year after processing the paperwork this August to relieve him of whatever he needs to do. Will that suffice for Oregon law? Problem is the stigma that goes with it will follow him unfortunately because of these clowns at the Oregonian and what they did. It is well known public knowledge now, which is a step beyond just public knowledge of the registry. Look, I want him to make it to Big Leagues and have a chance to pitch there, I really do. A lefty with command already of the four pitches he needs to know does not come along very often.

      In the meantime, can he stay at OSU, take classes and pitch next season? He should be able to because US Dept of Ed rules say he cannot be discriminated against in getting his education, including this (illustrated by several here who comment). Will that make his time at OSU that more difficult? Maybe. Heck, maybe he should transfer out of OSU and head back north to WA and pitch next year to get drafted. There are a few small schools with teams he wouldn’t need to sit out a year for to pitch with.

      He probably left WA for OSU to leave this behind and start over. Unfortunately, the clowns ruined that.

    • New Person

      I’m sorry, but you do know there are 40 rounds in the draft, right?

      You do know he was projected to be selected in the 2nd/3rd round. The link I provided said late first round selection.

      Not one team took a chance on him, not even in the 40th round! He posted numbers that are tops in the NCAA as a pitcher to where he was projected to go 2nd/3rd round. He just got blackballed for this draft. It’s a shame too.

      I hope he does pitch in the College World Series. He already let those authors get to him by not starting a game he was slated to start.

      Why isn’t what the authors did called bullying?

      • HOOKSCAR

        If I were him, I would call an attorney. He was penalized financially by the reporters outing his conviction as a MINOR. They acted with malicious intent. Not once, but a number of times as they have written numerous articles.
        This is exactly what was told to SCOTUS, by Roberts himself, would not happen.
        Now can we call BS?

        • Timmr

          SCOTUS drew the line between what is and is not constitutional with a wet noodle, intentionally. They saw what was happening and approved, and therefore they wanted a way for it to be allowed. By their own prejudiced words we had a frightening and high recidvism rate.
          SCOTUS will have to draw a line with a crisp black sharpie, so everyone knows what is public safety and what is lawlessness masquerading under color of law and custom.

      • All about freedoms

        Because the press can bully under the guise of freedom of the press and speech, whether we like it or not.

  7. Nice turn of events....

    NCAAs best team happy to bring back sex offender next year (NY Post)

    http://nypost.com/2017/06/15/ncaas-best-team-happy-to-bring-back-sex-offender-next-year/

    • New Person

      If you read the article, Oregon State President Ed Ray doesn’t agree with Luke. Here’s a quote from the article you cited:


      Ray said he supports guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education to allow individuals to register for college admission without revealing a prior criminal record, except in specific circumstances.

      However, Ray left open the possibility Oregon State’s policies could change in the future, following a review of the matter.

      “This review should consider the possibility that some offenses and situations are so serious that we should no longer let such a student represent the university in athletic competition and other high-profile activities sponsored by the university by virtue of their offense,” he said. “Such individuals could still enroll as a student in the university with appropriate risk mitigation.”

      Luke was deemed in the lowest-level SO in Washington. Maybe I’m too defensive, but I don’t like the OSU president. He really isn’t standing up for Luke at all.

      • OSU is not thinking straight

        OSU is a state funded school and probably could not get away with what he is thinking. Public institutions like OSU can’t discriminate against students like what he is describing I would think, especially if the student is paying their own way. Scholarship may be something different due to the T&Cs of the scholarship.

        • New Person

          Being a registrant doesn’t disqualify you from receiving federal grants and loans.

          But wow… people like Luke shouldn’t represent the school? You’d think overcoming adversity and forging to becoming a better person should be a good representative for any school.

          This is just a sad day… of many sad days for all registrants. We can go to school, but not represent the school in any sports capacity…. maybe in any capacity, if they’re going that far.

  8. Michael

    Sexual prudery. Many Americans suffer from it, but it is rare in other industrialized countries. It is part of the reason there is so much hysteria over sex offenders and fakery about sex offender recidivism. Fact is, 90% of kids are abused by someone in their circle – a family member, a trusted family friend or neighbor for example. Nearly 68% of abusers are immediate family members [parents, spouses, siblings, children and others connected by birth]. Stranger danger makes up only 10% of child sex abuse cases.

    Luke Helmlich was a juvenile at the time of the act. He was a child. At 21 he has the brain of an adolescent. It’s a neurological fact. I am no neurologist, but I have read about the neuropsychology of the prefrontal cortex in minors. Personally, I am in the camp that suggests we do kids an injustice by charging them for committing crimes, period. Why? Because the human brain does not completely develop until about age 25. The prefrontal cortex takes longest to completely develop, and it is responsible for executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts [rational decision making], determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities and actions, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social control, which is the ability to suppress urges [impulse control] that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially unacceptable outcomes. He may have known touching the female relative was wrong, but he was at the age when most teens become sexually active. He more than likely was unable to suppress those sexual urges and did what he did more out of sexual curiosity, than malicious sexual intent.

    In Pennsylvania, reputation is a fundamental right protected by the Pennsylvania Constitution. Added protections of the clause include the irrebuttable presumption doctrine. The doctrine provides that if a state denies a person or group a right based upon a particular presumption, the presumption must be universally true. Unfortunately that doctrine doesn’t apply when a person or a group of people deny another a right based upon the same assumption. The assumption once a sex offender, always a sex offender is not universally true. In fact, a child is more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than a sex crime, especially one perpetrated by a stranger.

    I bring up sexual prudery, recidivism, neurology and reputation as a fundamental right as a way to show how ineffective sex offender registries are. The U.S. Congress and states argue that sex offender registries are not punitive because the laws requiring registration are applied civilly under a public safety pretense. That is not factual. There is no way to protect a child with a sex offender registry when the danger of sexual abuse comes from within. If government wants to protect kids, they are going to have to start thinking tubal ligations/occlusions and vasectomies to prevent conception all together. Fact is, all sex offender registries do is lull people into a false sense of security and create a new unprotected class, which in my opinion, and for all intents and purposes, is unconstitutional.

    I am not going to say that I don’t care about what may have happened between Luke and his female relative – it was inappropriate. Although I don’t think it needed to go that far, he copped to it and paid the consequence for his actions. I will say that I shouldn’t even know about it. How does what happened to someone on the west coast effect me here on the east coast? How in reality does public knowledge of the act change what happened? Making it public only serves to further promote public hysteria and ignorance, and embolden the corporate lapdog to create more legislation that further exasperates the issue.

    ….

  9. Harry

    What is going on here this that the registry has nothing to do with protecting the public and it is a tool for harassment and shame, only. It is the core hindering victims coming forward, because they will not want their loved ones go through such torment. Most, ‘real’ sex abuse victims want their offenders be treated so they will not do it again. Luke’s victim is being re-victimize by this public hatred and treatment. Shame, shame and shame on these wicked people.

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