Stoney Westmoreland, who played the grandfather on Disney Channel children’s series, Andi Mack, was sentenced to two years in federal prison for an alleged attempt at enticing a minor boy into sex.
Westmoreland, 52, copped to a plea deal with federal prosecutors that will see him serve 24 months behind bars and an additional ten years of supervised release, instead of risking the ten-year sentence he was originally facing for enticement of a minor over the Internet or text.
The actor, who also appeared in ABC’s “Scandal” and AMC hit “Better Call Saul,” was arrested in Utah by the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force in 2018, when he was caught communicating with an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old boy on gay hook-up app Grindr.
His lawyer initially argued that Westmoreland thought he was interacting with an adult who was roleplaying as a child, and wasn’t planning on meeting up with a minor child, but evidence in the case was contradictory.
Police claimed that the actor tried to lure a child to Salt Lake City’s Little America Hotel by sending a car to pick the boy up through a rideshare app. When police arrested him in the room, they confiscated two sex toys.
He also allegedly admitted to sending nude photos to the officer posing as a young boy, despite acknowledging that he knew the child was only 13-years-old.
The plea deal Westmoreland accepted reduced his charges from four counts of dealing with materials harmful to a minor and one count of enticing a minor for sex, to a lesser charge of using interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor.
Upon his release, he will not be allowed to interact with minor children without adult supervision, and all his electronic devices and social media accounts will be monitored by law enforcement authorities.
Disney fired Westmoreland the same day of his arrest in December 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 spokesperson said at the time.