Former Disney actor Stoney Westmoreland received a sentence of two years imprisonment for sex crimes involving minors, officials said Monday.
The 52-year-old actor had starred in the Disney Channel sitcom “Andi Mack,” where he played the 13-year-old protagonist Andi’s grandfather, Ham Mack, before being fired by Disney for trying to liaison with a minor.
Westmoreland was arrested in December 2018 after he interacted with a police detective pretending to be a 13-year-old near the sitcom’s filming location.
Speaking with the undercover agent over homosexual dating app Grindr, Westmoreland planned a meet-up with the supposed teenager, intending to take him back to his hotel room, Deadline reported, citing court documents.
Authorities would later find and seize two sex toys in the apartment room, The Daily Mail reported.
During his interactions with the undercover cop, Westmoreland had also sent the supposed teenager inappropriate pictures, requesting that the teen also send him nude images, police said, according to the New York Post.
Police arrested the actor on Dec. 13, 2018. Westmoreland was hit with one count of alleged coercion and enticement to engage in sexual activity with a minor, NBC News reported.
Following his arrest, Disney distanced itself from the actor, saying, “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,” according to The Daily Mail.
Westmoreland’s lawyer, Wendy Lewis, said that the actor faced a minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, NBC News reported.
However, Westmoreland was able to lower his punishment to two years in prison by pleading guilty to using interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor.
Speaking to Fox News, Lewis said, “Mr. Westmoreland maintains that he believed the person he was speaking with was likely an adult engaging in role-play.”
“Had there been an actual minor there when he arrived, he would have left,” Lewis said, pointing to an evaluation of Westmoreland by Dr. Fred Berlin of the Johns Hopkins Institue for the Study, Prevention, and Treatment of Sexual Trauma.
Berlin testified in court that Westmoreland demonstrated no pedophilic sexual interests, Fox News reported.
“Due to the possibility of a minimum 10-year sentence and conservative Utah juries, Mr. Westmoreland agreed to plead to the lesser offense of transmitting information about a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity,” Lewis told the outlet.
After his prison sentence, Westmoreland will be registered as a sex offender for 25 years, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Choate said, according to NBC News.
He will be under supervised release for 10 years, the outlet reported. Court records, accessed by NBC News, stipulate that the actor can own only “one personal computer and/or internet-capable device.”
All of his “devices are subject to random inspection,” the court records said, according to NBC News.
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