Former Disney actor Stoney Westmoreland was found guilty and sentenced to two years in federal prison on charges he attempted to lure a minor into engaging in sexual intercourse.
Westmoreland was arrested by the Salt Lake City Police Department and FBI Child Exploitation Task Force in December 2018 after he allegedly tried to arrange to meet with a person he thought was a 13-year-old boy. It turns out the actor had been speaking with an undercover agent on the Grindr app the whole time.
On Christmas Eve of that year, Westmoreland was charged with six felony counts including one second degree felony count of enticing a minor by internet or text, four third-degree felony counts of dealing in materials harmful to a minor and one third-degree felony count of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, E News reported.
The detective in contact with the actor at the time said he allegedly “began conversing with who he believed to be a 13-year-old male and asked if the male would come to his hotel room and engage in sexual activity.” The actor also admitted to police that he sent sexually explicit photos.
An attorney for Westmoreland told Fox News Digital that her client truly believed he was talking to an adult male.
“Mr. Westmoreland maintains that he believed the person he was speaking with was likely an adult engaging in role play,” defense attorney Wendy Lewis said.
Upon arrival at a hotel, she said the actor asked the ride-share “driver to wait for him because he might not be staying,”
“Had there been an actual minor there when he arrived, he would have left,” she maintained.
Facing a ten-year sentence and a likely conservative jury in Salt Lake City, Westmoreland pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
“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,” Lews siad.
However, Westmoreland was evaluated by Dr. Fred Berlin of Johns Hopkins Institute for the study, prevention and treatment of sexual trauma who determined and testified that Westmoreland demonstrated no sexual attraction to children.
Following his arrest, Westmoreland was fired from Disney’s “Andi Mack” in which he played the grandfather to the protagonist.
“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,” a Disney spokesperson said at the time.
Once he is released, Westmoreland will be under supervision for 10 years and must register as a sex offender. He will also be limited to “possessing only one personal computer and/or internet-capable device,” and all “devices are subject to random inspection,” according to court records obtained by E News.
Westmoreland has also appeared on “Gilmore Girls”, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” “Better Call Saul” and “Scandal” over a near 30-year career.
He must report to prison by July 19.
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