OSU issues statement after news of star pitcher's child molestation conviction as a teen
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State released a statement Thursday in response to news that star pitcher Luke Heimlich pleaded guilty as a teen to child molestation in Washington state.
The news was first reported Thursday by The Oregonian. The paper uncovered the story while conducting background for a profile story on Heimlich.
Heimlich was cited at Gill Coliseum on a charge of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender on April 3 of this year, according to Benton County records.
Steve Clark, Oregon State VP for University Relations, released the following written statement:
The Oregonian account is disturbing, and Oregon State University in no way condones the conduct as reported and that we understand was addressed years ago by the judicial system in the state of Washington.
We take this issue very seriously.
“I want to make clear that each day the safety and security of our students at Oregon State University is our number one priority. Our policies and procedures provide a safe learning environment for our community and seek to ensure that all prospective and current students are treated fairly and equitably,” said Oregon State President Ed Ray.
All OSU students – including student athletes – are subject to the same academic criteria, admissions standards, codes of conduct and community standards while applying to and attending the university.
OSU follows the U.S. Department of Education’s recommendation that universities not allow criminal history to affect disproportionately a student’s access to higher education and opportunity for a better life.
Upon learning that a student is a registered sex offender, representatives from Oregon State Student Affairs and the Department of Public Safety meet with the student immediately and coordinate with other departments as needed to mitigate risks associated with their attendance at the university. In the case of student athletes, one of the risk mitigation measures taken is that the deputy athletic director for administration and senior woman administrator is notified of the registered sex offender status and risk mitigation. Under the university’s practices, students who are listed as registered sex offenders are prohibited from living in Oregon State residence halls and from working directly with minors through any of our student employment, teaching, volunteer or outreach programs.
In all university matters – and most particularly as it regards safety – Oregon State strives to be a leader and continually reviews its policies to ensure that they are aligned with the best interests of the OSU community, and particularly our student body.