A now-fired Disney Channel actor has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for trying to lure a minor to have sex with him.
Stoney Westmoreland was facing a decade behind bars for the charge of enticement of a minor over the Internet but instead took a plea bargain with prosecutors involving a lesser charge of using interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor, Deadline reported.
As part of his sentence, Westmoreland also has to comply with DNA collection and now has to register as a sex offender. In addition, the former actor’s computers and electronic devices are now subject to random searches by federal authorities, to include emails and social media. As part of the plea bargain, he is also prohibited from contact with minors without adults being present.
The Blaze noted:
On December 13, 2018, Westmoreland – who portrayed a grandfather on the Disney Channel sitcom “Andi Mack” – allegedly met a 13-year-old boy on Grindr – the self-described “world’s largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people.” Westmoreland reportedly shared explicit photos with the teen on the LGBTQ hook-up app.
Westmoreland, 52, was actually communicating to a Grindr profile operated by a police detective in Salt Lake City – where the Disney Channel show is filmed, according to prosecutors.
Westmoreland took a ridesharing service to meet the minor and then take him back to his hotel room, according to court documents. However, police arrested the Disney Channel actor when he attempted to meet the 13-year-old.
The actor was taken into custody by the Salt Lake City Police Department and FBI Child Exploitation Task Force.
“Two novelty sex toys were seized from the hotel room,” the Daily Mail reported, adding: “According to police he ‘admitted to sending nude photos, and that the male who he was speaking with told him he was 13-years-old.'”
An attorney for Westmoreland told TMZ that the actor was indeed using Grindr but thought that he was simply roleplaying online with an adult.
Immediately following his arrest, the Disney Channel fired the actor. He had appeared in 38 episodes of “Andi Mack.”
Westmoreland’s lawyer, Wendy Lewis, told TMZ that the actor was using Grindr, but believed he was roleplaying with an adult online.
The Disney Channel fired Westmoreland immediately after his arrest. He had appeared in 38 episodes of “Andi Mack.”
“Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” Disney Channel said in 2018. “Given the nature of the charges and our responsibility for the welfare of employed minors, we have released him from his recurring role and he will not be returning to work on the series which wraps production on its third season next week.”
“A screenwriter and director, as well, he helmed 2018’s Golden Boy and featured in films Godzilla and Matchstick Men,” Disney’s statement continued.
CNN has described the “Andi Mack” series as a “coming-of-age comedy-drama following the middle-school adventures of a 13-year-old girl and her friends.”
In addition to the Disney series, Westmoreland also had appearances in other TV shows including “Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul,” “NCIS,” and “Scandal.”