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Why a convicted child molester is likely to be chosen in the MLB draft

[ – 6/5/18]

Sometime over the next 48 hours, a Major League Baseball team is almost certain to ask a convicted, admitted child molester to play in its organization. It’s likeliest to happen Tuesday, during Rounds 3 through 10 of the MLB draft, or perhaps Wednesday, over the draft’s final 30 rounds. And on the off-chance that the handful of teams with Luke Heimlich on their draft boards opt against selecting him, the chance that he goes unsigned is basically zero.

For more than a year now, teams have grappled with the idea of Heimlich. He is Oregon State’s ace and one of the best college pitchers in the nation; he is the signatory of a guilty plea to molesting a 6-year-old female relative when he was 15. He is a left-hander whose fastball tops out at 97 mph; he is an endless supply of bad headlines, treacherous questions and awful publicity. He is worthy of a second chance, with low recidivism rates for the crime to which he admitted; he now says that despite the guilty plea, he didn’t commit that crime, which only confuses the matter more.

Sports so often stumbles as it tries to strike the balance between talent and principle, and Heimlich’s case is no exception. His eventual signing will represent a clear value judgment: that his ability as a baseball player outweighs the moral quagmire of his actions and serves as an admission that the organization will embrace someone who in his guilty plea wrote “I admit that I had sexual contact” with a little girl.

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  1. New Person

    His records were sealed on Aug 28, 2017. Why is he being referred to as a Convicted anything?

    Isn’t this a libel headline?

    BTW, he was passed up in all 40 rounds last year. If the MLB did it last year, then they can do it again this year, even though he doesn’t have a record nor is a registrant b/c his records were sealed and part of the program allowed him off the registry. Because his juvenile records were exposed (which they never should have been), all MLB franchise just see a child molester than someone who went through so many feats to get off the registry. Well, no one should have known any of that, to be honest.

    Curious, since he’s a private citizen with no criminal background legally and the MLB is a private franchise, then isn’t the MLB subject to not discriminate against him?

    • CR

      It is legal to discriminate in hiring for any reason that is not covered by any one of a number of federal laws, which I found listed on an EEOC web Q&A web page, and copied at the bottom of this post. In some states
      there may be additional protections for certain classes of people.

      Here is what the EEOC says here:

      “Under the laws enforced by EEOC, it is illegal to discriminate against someone (applicant or employee) because of that person’s race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information”

      Also the FAQ from here:

      Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws

      I. What Are the Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination?

      Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

      the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination;

      the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;

      Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA), which prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments;

      Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government;

      Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic information about an applicant, employee, or former employee;

      and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which, among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.


        Depends on the state. NY has state laws that limit hiring decisions and the use of criminal records

      • New Person

        So he’s blackballed for a past that no one is supposed to know about and should not be part of the employment process as of Aug 28, 2017.

        Before the illegal leaking of the information, the pitcher was projected as a round 1 or round 2 talent in 2017. This can easily be found online. This past season, he’s even a better pitcher.

        If he doesn’t get drafted… drafted… doesn’t mean he’ll make the team… if he doesn’t get drafted, then I’d used this as evidence that Colorado Judge Matsch stated about cruel and unusual punishment by the public.

    • Captain Oblivious

      25 thousand from each California ball club. California company = jurisdiction in California courts.

  2. TR

    These people gotta stop name calling people like that, especially to somebody that they don’t know.

  3. USA

    Wow! I think I would seek legal advice! I believe Luke had his offense (sealed or expunged). He also no longer has to register! I would sue this writer! F him!

  4. TS

    Luke was not drafted.

    • New Person

      Sad that he wasn’t drafted. Top tier talent, but still not good enough to move on.

      This can be said about many on the registry and are denied employment.

      • Tim Moore

        Sad you have to be a saint all your life to play professional baseball. Oh wait the real saints had histories of lewd conduct. Look at Saint Augustine. He had a famous saying, give me chastity–but not yet. I guess it was alright for leaders of a great western religion to have a period of debauchery in their youth, but nowadays these past sins prevent one from tainting the exceedingly more sacred cloister of professional baseball.

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